Week 21 of Pregnancy: Your Baby’s Development and Your Body Changes
Congratulations! You are now on the 21st week of pregnancy, and your baby is growing stronger and healthier each day. By now, you may have already felt the flutter kicks that have now transformed into nudges and kicks. Your baby is now weighing around three-quarters of a pound and measures about 10 and a half inches long.
Your baby’s growth is remarkable at this stage of pregnancy. Physiologically, your baby has developed both eyelids and sweet little eyebrows, and their nerves will start to develop, helping them experience the world around them by seeing, listening, smelling, tasting, and touching. They can now even swallow the amniotic fluid, which contains nutrients from your diet. You may also notice your baby’s bowel movements starting to work this week, producing meconium, a combination of amniotic fluid and digestive secretion that will form their first bowel movement after birth.
Your Body Changes
As your baby grows, your belly also needs to grow with them, which may cause some discomfort as your womb starts to stretch to accommodate your little one. The ligaments on both sides of your womb will also stretch to give your baby ample space to move and grow. Feeling sore during this stage is entirely normal, but if you feel abnormally sore, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or midwife for medical advice.
You may also notice that your acne may worsen, and you are developing some varicose veins due to extra pressure on the veins of your legs. If you experience these symptoms, you may wash your face with a gentle, oil-free cleanser and prop up your legs to take off the pressure. But make sure to consult your doctor first before taking any oral medications or topical products.
If you are suffering from acne, washing your face with a gentle and oil-free cleanser is an effective way to combat it. Avoid taking any oral medications or topical products without talking to your doctor because some acne medications can be damaging during pregnancy. To help manage varicose veins, prop up your legs, wear some support hose, and do some physical activities.
Things to Do
During this week, you may also start creating a baby registry for a baby shower or general gifts and begin thinking about breastfeeding. Do your research and consult your doctor to make a decision based on what’s best for you and your baby.
In conclusion, week 21 is an exciting stage of pregnancy, as you get to know your baby better and prepare for their arrival. Remember to take everything in this week and enjoy this stage before the third trimester arrives.