21 Weeks Pregnant
Your Pregnancy Week by Week
Your Baby at 21 WeeksSize: 10.51 inches (26.7 cm) - crown to heel
Weight: 12.70 ounces (360 grams)
Your baby is growing at a steady rate while working on developing and maturing his organs and his central nervous system. Your little one's digestive system is just one of those organs that are maturing rapidly; as a part of this maturing process, baby is practicing the swallowing reflex by swallowing amniotic fluid.
Baby's nail beds are fully developed now and his little toenails and fingernails have started to grow. Your little one might even be born with nails that are in need of a trim; the nails will be very soft to minimize the risks of him scratching himself.
Mom at 21 Weeks PregnantWith your belly protruding noticeably now you might be feeling a bit of anxiety about the upcoming changes to your life and to your lifestyle. This is entirely normal and indeed expected; in order to keep these feelings from overwhelming you, now is the time to attack that to-do list! The better prepared that you are the less anxious you will feel.
How does your belly button look now? Is it completely flat or is it even protruding slightly now? Keep comfortable with maternity pants and shirts that can accommodate your growing belly and still have good room to grow.
How is your appetite? Are you craving anything unusual? Many pregnant women report that their appetites for the unusual, and also their favorite comfort foods, are nearly insatiable! Midnight runs to the grocery store for peach ice cream could just become the bane of your significant other's existence, but once those cravings hit it will be nearly impossible for you to get the idea of those delicious snacks out of your head!
That hearty appetite of yours is certainly a symptom of your body's growing need for calories! Keep yourself from binging on the unhealthy by having a steady supply of healthy snack options in your home, in your desk at work, and in your purse.
Those little kicks and flutters are getting more and more identifiable. It might even start to feel that your little one is trying to kick or punch his way out! As baby grows stronger, and bigger, his movements are going to feel a lot less like gas bubbles and definitely more like the movements of your baby.
Backaches that are directly related to your pregnancy might be making sleeping or even sitting at your desk at work somewhat uncomfortable. Pregnancy-related backaches are not just related to the fact that your center of gravity has shifted due to the extra weight in your abdomen, but they can also be attributed to the fact that the pregnancy hormone relaxin is doing its part to relax your joints and your ligaments.
Are you starting to worry about the numbers on the scale moving up? Remember that weight gain during pregnancy is not only expected but preferred in order to ensure that your pregnancy is a healthy one. However, in order to keep those numbers within the lines of reasonable weight gain, you are the only one who can control what foods go into your body and what exercises you do.
Unless your pregnancy is high risk, you should still be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes at least some form of exercise. Running might be a bit uncomfortable at this stage of your pregnancy; however, swimming or prenatal yoga are both wonderful forms of exercise that are low-impact and can help you to keep your body active in a manner that won't strain your already tired body. Be sure to discuss your workout plans with your doctor at your next visit in order to ensure that you and your baby are healthy enough; odds are good, however, that your doctor will be all for your exercising plans!
A good brisk walk could help to increase your levels of energy and also help you to find a bit of relief from some of the pregnancy symptoms like constipation, backaches, and even swelling.
Think about your birth plan. You may not feel comfortable putting it on paper just yet, but consider your plans for pain control in labor, positions for labor you would prefer and who you want with you. Even if you never write them down, it's good to share your ideas with your doctor to make sure your labor is everything you hoped for.