By week 21, the flutter kicks that you felt in the previous weeks are growing stronger and healthier. During this stage of your pregnancy, you will begin to get to know your baby better. You will also begin preparing to bring your little one into the world.
Here are some of the things you can expect during week 21 of your pregnancy:
By now, your little one is not so little anymore. Most babies will be around 10 and a half inches long – long enough to resemble a banana or a carrot! Your baby will also have gained a lot of weight recently and now weighs three-quarters of a pound.
At this age, some babies will weigh more or less than this. As long as the doctor can see that the baby is gaining weight, everything is fine.
Because of your baby’s growth, those sweet little flutters that you felt earlier in your pregnancy will have transformed into nudges and kicks. If you pay close attention, you may notice that your baby’s gymnastics have a pattern. Your baby’s activity may be triggered by certain things. The more you know about your child’s activity, the better you will get to know them.
In terms of physiology, your darling one will now have developed both eyelids and sweet little eyebrows. But more than this your baby’s nerves will really begin to develop. At this point, they will be able to begin to experience the world around them by seeing, listening, smelling tasting and touching.
Speaking of tasting, your baby will now begin to swallow the amniotic fluid. The baby may even be able to taste what you are eating as the nutrients from your diet enter the amniotic fluid. Don’t worry too much about the chicken wings, pickles or ice cream you may be craving, your baby still gets nourishment from your placenta, but be wary of diet pills and supplements.
Your baby’s bowels will also start working around this week! Around week 21, babies begin to produce meconium.
That might sound scary but it is actually a combination of amniotic fluid and digestive secretion that you will notice after birth because it will form their first bowel movement! The makings of your baby’s first diaper change actually develop while they are still inside the womb.
As your baby grows, your belly will need to grow with them. You may experience discomfort as your womb begins to stretch to accommodate your little one. The ligaments on both sides of your womb will start to stretch so that your baby has room to move and grow. If you feel sore, this is completely normal. But if you feel abnormally sore, do not be afraid to call your doctor or your midwife.
At this stage, you’re probably still pretty comfortable with your size and your symptoms. So relax and enjoy this stage before the third trimester arrives.
You might notice that any acne you have may get worse. This is because your body is producing some extra oil.
You might also notice that you are developing some varicose veins. This is because there is extra pressure on the veins of your legs. You are more likely to develop these if your mother or your grandmother have them.
Finally, you might notice that your libido is playing up around this time in your pregnancy. There is no normal level of sexual activity when you are pregnant. Some women notice that their desire skyrockets while others notice that it hits the floor. Do not worry about it too much. Just be open and honest with your partner about how you feel.
If you are suffering from acne, you can help combat this by washing your face with a gentle, oil free cleanser. But do not take any oral medications or topical products without first talking to your doctor. Some oral acne medications can be damaging during pregnancy.
To help deal with varicose veins, prop up your legs to take the pressure off. You might also consider wearing some support hose. If your doctor says it is okay to exercise, physical activity can help minimize them as well.
Things to Do
During this week, you will be getting ready to welcome your little one into the world. This is a good week to create a baby registry for a baby shower or just for gifts in general.
This is also a good week to begin seriously thinking about breastfeeding. Do plenty of research and speak to your doctor to make sure that you can make a decision that is based on what is right for you and your baby.
Week 21 is an exciting week as you get to know your baby and prepare to bring them into the world. Remember to relax and take everything in this week, the third trimester will be here before you know it!
Featured photo credit: Bonbon via flickr.com