21 Weeks Pregnant

21 Weeks Pregnant : What to Expect

During week 21 of pregnancy, mom and baby seem to be cruising right along. Your half way through your pregnancy term and second trimester, so it’s important you continue to watch what you eat, drink and how you exercise at this stage. There are many things happening on the inside and outside of mom’s body, however most are not yet noticeable.

Symptoms and Body Changes at 21 Weeks

At 21 weeks pregnant you should’ve gained around 15 lbs but each women’s weight gain will be different. You will continue to gain anywhere from a ½ – 1 pound of fat as each week goes by. This is due to the weight gain your baby is experiencing at 21 weeks. At your uterus moves a ½ inch above your belly button, your abdomen is pooching out and even strangers can tell you’re pregnant now. You might begin to experience pregnancy symptoms like leg cramps, swelling, and aches. To relieve the pain, try elevating your legs by using a pregnancy pillow or regular pillow. This will also help your ankles, thighs and feet when swelling occurs. As your weight increases, you’ll also notice you’re learning a new way to walk. Sometimes fainting occurs, so it’s important you wear loose comfortable clothes, and try wearing flat shoes instead of heels. Your appetite is also increasing, and although most people advise you only increase your calorie intake by 300, it’s okay to eat up to 500 calories more at this stage. Just make sure you keep your doctor advised on your eating habits, to ensure you are staying healthy.

Baby’s Development

As your baby continues to grow, it’s almost as big as your placenta. Your baby continues to swim around its warm cozy home as the blood circulation is fully functioning. The umbilical cord also continues to thicken and grow in length as blood travels in full force from mom to baby. The digestive system keeps maturing and grows as the intestines learn to contract and relax on their own. The digestive system also gets practice working due to the amount of amniotic fluid your baby swallows on a regular basis. The eye brows and eye lids are fully developed at this point, and the fingernails and toenails completely cover the tips of your baby’s phalanges. Weighing 11 ounces and almost 8 inches in length, your baby is about the size of a large banana and should grow at a steady pace for the next few weeks.


Pregnancy Week 21 Tips

As your appetite increases, some women experience weird or unhealthy cravings such as cigarettes, charcoal, ashes and beer. These are all prohibited while you’re pregnant, so talk with your doctor about these new cravings. Also, try staying relaxed as much as possible. If you’re stressed, your baby can become stressed. Your baby picks up on lots of different things while in the womb. It’s a good idea to begin reading books, stories or novels that you’ll potentially read to your child once he or she is born. A pregnancy pillow can be a beneficial investment to help alleviate those irritating pregnancy symptoms for weeks to come. Next is pregnancy at 22 weeks.

[Page updated June 2013]