21 Weeks Pregnant

During week 21 of pregnancy, Mom and baby seem to be cruising right along. You are halfway through your pregnancy term and second trimester, so it is important that you continue to watch what you eat and drink as well as how you exercise at this stage. There are many things happening on the inside and outside of Mom’s body, but most are not yet noticeable.

Symptoms and Body Changes at 21 Weeks

By week 21, you should have gained around fifteen pounds. You will continue to gain up to a pound of fat each week. As your uterus moves a ½ inch above your belly button, your abdomen is pooching out, and even strangers can tell you are pregnant now. You may begin to experience leg cramps and aches. To relieve the pain, try elevating your legs by using a pregnancy pillow, or even a regular pillow. This will also help your ankles, thighs, and feet when swelling occurs. As your weight increases, you will notice that you are learning a new way to walk. Sometimes you may faint, so it is important you wear loose, comfortable clothes, and try wearing flat shoes instead of heels. Your appetite is also increasing, and although some people may advise you to increase your calorie intake by no more than 300, it is okay to eat up to 500 calories more per day at this stage. Just make sure you keep your doctor advised of your eating habits to ensure you are staying healthy.

Baby’s Development

Your baby has now grown almost as big as your placenta. Your baby continues to swim around his or her warm cozy home, and his or her blood circulation is fully functional. The umbilical cord also continues to thicken and grow in length. The digestive system keeps maturing, as the intestines begin 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 eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed at this point, and the fingernails and toenails completely cover the tips of your baby’s fingers. Weighing 11 ounces and almost 8 inches in length, your baby is about the size of a large banana.

21-weeks-pregnant

Pregnancy Week 21 Tips

As your appetite increases, some women experience weird or unhealthy cravings for cigarettes, charcoal, ashes, or beer. These are all prohibited while you are pregnant, so talk with your doctor about these new cravings. Also, try staying relaxed as much as possible. If you are stressed, your baby can become stressed. Your baby picks up on lots of different things while in the womb. Next is pregnancy at 22 weeks.

[Page updated May 2014]