Week 21 of pregnancy could spike up your pressure, most notably about finding the perfect baby name. Most parents fall into one oftwo categories—one that either picks a baby name easily and quickly and second that agonizes over it right until the time of birth. If you find yourself in the latter category, you may want to check out reputable baby name directories and even read up on their statistics in order to ease your decision.
But at week 21, your baby’s name is not the only thing you should be worrying about, you should also give some thought to setting up your home by things such as adding the finishing touches to your nursery. At week 21, your baby is about the length of a carrot albeit one that has eyes, ears and a nose!
The symptoms you experience in week 21 of pregnancy should give you a good idea of what to experience in the third trimester of pregnancy. That said, here are a few common symptoms in week 21.
Given that your milk ducts are fully developed by the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, they may leak at times. Although this is perfectly normal, you should seek medical advice if it’s constant and in greater amounts.
Your uterus may feel tight as it’s preparing for labor resulting in contractions. These should go away when you switch positions, but contact your OB if they get severe or any pain that doesn’t stop.
You’ve probably experienced this symptom in previous weeks as well, and if you haven’t done so already, avoid eating greasy and spicy foods or ones that could trigger these issues.
Your skin gets thinner as your baby grows resulting in tears below your skin known as stretch marks. Some women get them more than others owing to family history, and even though there is no sure shot remedy to getting rid of them, most will significantly fade after birth.
Your skin can get irritated due to your growing belly, and applying pregnancy-safe body lotion or oil can provide great relief.
These are caused mostly due to the increased pressure on the veins in your legs, and sometimes higher progesterone levels. To help prevent the onset of varicose veins, prop up your feet and legs whenever possible, wear a maternity support hose, sleep on your left side and exercise daily.
You may feel a great desire to have sex owing, mostly to the increased blood flow to the pelvic area, and the heightened stimulation it brings about. Even though it’s fine tocrave and have sex during pregnancy, you should abstain from it if you have symptoms and conditions such as cervical insufficiency, abdominal cramping, placenta previa, a dilated cervix, unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge or your water has broken.
At week 21, you may look in the mirror and see a whole new you with 13 – 14lbs and around 21 pounds of extra weight if you’re pregnant with twins. You may be feeling super sexy and confident and there’s good reason to, but on the flipside you may feel fat, which is really what pregnancy is all about—gaining healthy weight for you and your baby. Fact is that gaining a few pounds does not just serve as padding for your baby, but another very important purpose, and here’s a breakdown of what makes up the extra weight.
Baby weight after a full term of pregnancy – 7.5lbs
Uterus = 2lbs
Placenta = 1.5lbs
Maternal stores of protein, fat and other nutrients vital for your baby = 7lbs
Amniotic fluids = 2lbs
Increased fluid volumes = 4lbs
Increased blood volumes = 4lbs
Breast tissue = 2lbs
As you can see, the pounds you’ve gained during your pregnancy are for good causes such as keeping your baby well nourished with all the vital nutrients. So if you’re feeling down about the extra weight, think about all the amazing things it is doing to your baby!
A mid-pregnancy ultrasound will give you a clear glimpse of your 21 week fetus including chambers of the heart and brain hemispheres. Just let your ultrasound technician know if you’d like them to reveal your baby’s gender, because some parents would rather wait for the big surprise.
If you do want to save this moment for later, you can always ask your OB to write down the gender and put it in an envelope, and have a gender reveal party with family and friends. Don’t forget to ask for picture printouts from your mid-pregnancy ultrasound as they make great memorabilia of your milestones of pregnancy.
Week 21 could bring on significant development changes in your baby’s body such as layers of fat growing all across their body. These layers will eventually help them stay warm and insulated once they exit from your womb and enter the real world. Your baby at 21 weeks pregnant measures 10.51 inches and weighs 12.70 ounces, so it’s definitely gained size from the previous weeks of pregnancy. Your baby’s eyelids are still shut, but they aren’t sleeping, and you will notice this, once you feel the kicks.
Your baby taste buds are also developing so much so that if you eat a carrot, they will probably be able to taste it. Reason being that your little munchkin swallows a small amount of amniotic fluid each day, which not only helps towards nutrition and hydration, but also helps them hone their digesting and swallowing skills. Other notable baby figure developments in week 21 include your baby’s cartilage turning into bone to give them more control over their limb movements.
Start planning your baby shower
Keep exercising regularly
Narrow down on baby names
Schedule your glucose challenge test