Your baby’s proportions are improving, with legs and arms that look more like they’re supposed to. The baby’s coordination will have improved as well. Your baby has grown a lot this week, in part because up until this week, your baby was being measured from his crown to his rump, and now his measurements are from his crown to his heels.
The hard work of his spleen and liver have produced a lot of blood cells, while bone marrow is helping the body as well. The placenta is still providing all the nourishment for the baby. He’s also drinking small amounts of amniotic fluid and the nutrients it contains.
21 weeks pregnant is how many months?
The weeks just seem to drag on forever, don’t they? You’re in your fifth month of pregnancy, but you’re officially halfway done, even if you carry your baby all the way to week 42. Congratulations! By now you may have sent baby shower invitations or started to think about decorating a nursery. Some people like to wait until just before the baby is due, while others start planning straight away.
Your Baby at 21 Weeks
Moving to measurements from crown to heel will add quite a bit of length to your baby this week. He’s not feeling cramped yet, but he will soon. He has enough space right now for doing somersaults, and you are likely feeling those movements now.
He’s no longer constantly moving, although it may feel like it. He sleeps like a newborn baby would now, but movements in his sleep account for some of what you’re feeling.
The coolest thing about your baby this week is that he can experience what you eat, thanks to his new taste buds. Along with practising his swallowing skills, he’s taking in some of your amniotic fluid and tasting things, because of the fluid changes in taste based on what you eat. Exposing your baby to different flavours now will make him more excited about trying new foods later.
Neurons in your baby’s body now connect his brain to his muscles, so his movements are much more coordinated than before. He may have latched onto his thumb as it passed his mouth, but this week he can choose to suck his thumb on purpose. He’s still getting used to his new-found coordination by kicking and stretching.
How big is a baby at 21 weeks?
Your baby is as big as an endive this week at 27.2 centimetres long, weighing 399 grams. Proportionate legs and arms, and improved coordination make your little one look much more like a baby.
Your Body at 21 Weeks
Enjoy your new stretch marks, because you’re likely starting to notice them everywhere. From your hips to your breasts, these marks vary in colour from pink to dark purple. The tissue that supports your skin is torn as it stretches, which is where the marks originate. Gradual stretching can reduce the appearance of these marks, which means it’s important to gain weight steadily rather than all at once.
There’s no way to get rid of them, but you can use moisturizers to help gently massage and stretch the skin on your own. This will help combat the itching and dryness that comes with stretching skin. You may also find you have a dry mouth. The good news is that after delivery, they normally fade in colour, and may end up being silver or grey, which is much less noticeable.
If you’re starting to feel some anxiety about being a mom, you’re completely normal. As your pregnancy sinks in, you may worry about all kinds of things, from whether you’re doing things the right way to how you’re going to deal with making important decisions.
Talk to your partner about everything so you’re on the same page and you can reassure each other. It’s likely he’s feeling a bit paranoid, too.
By now you can feel your baby move. They’re probably gentle kicks and rolls, but soon they’ll be aggressive, and may even surprise you or hurt from time to time. You’re still dealing with appetite increases as your baby grows, so bring nutritious snacks everywhere.
Eating frequently will also help alleviate the gas, bloating, heartburn, and indigestion you still feel.
Your back still hurts this week and will continue to do so as your belly grows and your centre of gravity changes. The relaxin hormone is working to loosen ligaments, which causes pain in more than just your back. Splurge on a prenatal massage for some relief, do yoga, take a warm bath, and relax when you can.
Your bleeding gums are now kept company by loose teeth and other pain in your mouth. Your relaxing ligaments usually hold your teeth in place, but now could cause problems. Stay away from sticky foods like candy, and keep brushing, even if it hurts.
Your nails and hair keep growing like weeds, so enjoy your new beauty routine, which may involve a few manicures, haircuts, or new styles.
Tips/Things to do
If you haven’t already, it may be time to move on to some low impact exercises. The size of your belly now may dictate that you do some less strenuous activities, especially if you’re still getting dizzy. Your relaxing ligaments leave you more open to injury, so be careful with your exercises and remember to warm up. Walking is a safe bet until the baby comes.
Keep your feet up as much as possible when you want to alleviate sore feet and swollen ankles. Resting and stretching can also help reduce some of your back pain, or leg cramping, especially if you stretch diligently at night before bed.
Continue to eat healthily and avoid calories that don’t fill you up or provide any nutritional value. It’s okay to give in to cravings every now and then, but make sure you’re giving your baby what he needs from a nutritional perspective.
If you’re not already taking an iron supplement, check with your doctor for some helpful options. You need to avoid anemia in your pregnancy, so your baby has everything he needs to grow. Iron will improve circulation to all parts of your body, and then everything you eat will make its way to baby.
About The Author
Kids, chai latte’s, blueberry muffins, and reading way too many books… That pretty much sums up Louise. She’s also passionate about giving back to the community, in this case through this site, finding and answering questions about parenting.