Time is working in your baby’s favor – he’s growing inside, preparing for his arrival. You are already through most of your pregnancy, and it’s incredible. It’s already marked 21 weeks of pregnancy on the calendar, which is quite a lot. And you can find out more specifically what’s going on inside you and with the baby itself right now.
21st week of pregnancy: how the baby is developing
The baby at 21 weeks of pregnancy continues its active development. Among the most important aspects, it is worth highlighting that his skeleton and muscle mass continue to strengthen and develop, aligning the body proportions. The skin becomes denser, making blood vessels less visible.
The organs of hearing and vision are fully formed. Regarding the eyes, they are still covered by the eyelids, but they are already actively moving under them, which indicates their normal development. Hearing also continues to develop, but your baby can already react to sound vibrations not only inside you, but also outside. For this reason, many experts recommend that you start listening to music at a moderate tempo during this period, because this has a positive effect on the child’s development.
In addition to hearing and vision, the taste buds are still forming. The baby may react to the different foods that you eat. This means that you should be very careful with the choice of food and meals, avoiding particularly strong or unpleasant tastes for the baby.
Increasingly active digestive system, but its “food” is the amniotic fluid. The excretory system is also trained on amniotic fluid, but all these processes are dependent on the mother’s body.
Also, the endocrine system is already almost fully formed. The adrenal glands, pituitary gland, sex glands, and so on are almost fully functional. The taste buds are also working at full capacity, distinguishing the shades of taste of amniotic fluid.
The gums already have a full set of baby teeth, so calcium and other minerals are still needed by the pregnant woman. There may also already be several permanent teeth.
Fetal size at 21 weeks of pregnancy
The fetus at 21 weeks of pregnancy can reach up to 29 centimeters in height, but most often the size of the child in the range of 25-27 cm. As for the weight of the body, the index already exceeds 500 grams. Body proportions are already as close as possible to those that characterize newborns, that is, the head, torso and limbs are visually proportional.
The baby is in an active stage of its development, so it learns about the world around it, which at this point makes up the mother’s womb. Movements are becoming clearer and more coordinated, but periods of stillness are still significant. As a rule, the period of wakefulness falls at night.
21 weeks of pregnancy: feelings
In general, the 21 obstetric week of pregnancy proceeds normally, but some unpleasant symptoms will remain with you, namely:
- Digestive problems, which on the one hand are provoked by the presence of a large number of hormones and on the other hand by the fetus growing at an active pace, which puts pressure on the internal organs (including the gastrointestinal tract organs). Therefore, you should not be surprised if in certain body positions you feel heartburn or heaviness in the stomach;
- Increased frequency of urination is also a consequence of excessive pressure on the internal organs, which the growing fetus inside your womb. In view of the considerable gestational age, you can already get used to this sensation and adjust your life rhythm to the needs of your physiology;
- A spike in your temperature. You may notice that for no apparent reason you get hot – this can happen during the day, and while sleeping. You should not worry that you are developing some kind of infection or inflammatory process, because the increase in body temperature indicates a more active blood circulation in the body, which is necessary for the full nutrition and stable development of your child;
- Lower back pain is a consequence of the fact that the pelvic bones have shifted their position somewhat. By the way, this is what changes your gait, which now looks a little like a duck’s gait, because the pelvis is slightly forward.
Otherwise, this period is quite normal and you have the opportunity to fully enjoy your own condition. But as always, there are exceptions to the rules, because some pregnant women at this time are experiencing serious emotional stress, which can be explained in part by hormones, in part by excitement about the upcoming physical ordeal associated with childbirth. Naturally, every pregnant woman is afraid of losing her baby, but it is now that you can not be afraid of having risks, especially with proper care and normal health.
If you walk a lot, you may have shortness of breath. This symptom can be considered a consequence of a growing belly, a shifted center of gravity and a growing overall load on the body. You should monitor your own rhythm of life and movements – walk slowly, carefully, try to rest often.
Ultrasound at 21 weeks of pregnancy
Ultrasound at 21 weeks of pregnancy (the second mandatory screening) – this is the most favorable, but also the deadline to perform all the necessary measurements and observations. This study may be performed earlier.
Specialist during an ultrasound scan at 21 weeks of pregnancy, pays special attention to the condition and the degree of development of the placenta and umbilical cord, because it is important to make sure that the fetus receives normal and adequate nutrition. Naturally, the doctor examines the fetal parameters – height, weight, other developmental parameters.
There are several indicators that are determined by ultrasound in 21 weeks of pregnancy, and they consist of the following:
- Detection of some fetal malformations – for example, Down syndrome. Many problems that were suspected at the first screening may be denied or confirmed at the second screening;
- Assessing the condition of the uterus and cervix. Normally, the uterus at 21 weeks of pregnancy is one centimeter below the navel;
- Determine the rate of blood flow in the uterine and umbilical arteries, and then compare the results with the norm.
What happens to the mother’s body in the 21st week of pregnancy?
The abdomen at 21 weeks of pregnancy is the most visible part of a pregnant woman’s body.
The circumference, as a rule, is already almost impossible to hide, so everyone knows about the fact that you are pregnant, even strangers. However, this change in the body is not the only one, but one of many.
A pregnant woman in general at this stage perceives her body differently, and there are many reasons for this:
- First, the impressive bust by this time, which has grown from the original size by at least 1-2 numbers. On the one hand it makes you feel more attractive, but on the other hand it is a serious burden in every sense;
- Secondly, those women who are predisposed to pigmentation initially may notice an increase in this feature of the body. Predominantly spots (including freckles) are concentrated on the face, shoulders, arms, and the decollete area;
- Third, rounded hips – this indicates the active preparation of the female body for motherhood, and actually for future childbirth.
However, a woman can reconcile herself to these changes, which cannot be said about the unpleasant moments – rapid weight gain, swelling, stretch marks on the body (stretch marks). You will have to put up with weight gain, in addition, it is associated with the growth of your own baby inside you, and with compliance with all recommendations for proper nutrition and physical activity you can easily regain normal weight.
Swelling and stretch marks are much more difficult. Swelling occurs not only because of high fluid intake, but mostly because of increased blood circulation in the upper part of the body combined with blood stagnation in the lower part. As for stretch marks, it is a little more complicated, and their number will increase as your tummy grows. These marks are located more on the abdomen, hips and breasts.
The 21st week of pregnancy: what to look out for
The baby in the 21st week of pregnancy requires a lot of vitamins and nutrients because it is growing and developing. You should take into account that at this term, an element such as choline is very necessary. You have it in your body, but it will not be enough for two, so you need to replenish it. You can make up for the lack of choline by eating foods that are rich in it, such as beef, chicken meat, milk and peanuts.
If you have a shifted center of gravity (uterus growth, pelvic bone displacement) you may have some uncertainty in your movements and even loss of balance. At this stage you should give up shoes with heels or platforms in favor of more stable options. Wearing such shoes will reduce the risk of getting swelling or blisters as a bonus, even after a long time on your feet.
Be attentive to your intimate hygiene. You may notice that heavy vaginal discharge has appeared – this is quite normal. The genitourinary system is actively affected by progesterone. The discharge may resemble kefir or whitish mucus, and its amount is quite sparse. Only if you find a questionable odor of discharge, any clots or an admixture of blood, you should immediately contact your doctor.
The 21st week of pregnancy: what you need to discuss with your doctor
At 21 weeks of pregnancy, you should ask your doctor about gestational diabetes. This is because you may (purely theoretically) fall into a risk group. To exclude or confirm it, your doctor may recommend you to undergo some tests. Remember that if you are diagnosed in time, there is a higher probability that the problem will be completely eliminated.
If you are experiencing significant problems related to back pain, consult your doctor about a bandage. Do not assume that you can, on your own initiative, start wearing special elastic bands or bondage belts, as this can have a negative impact on you and your pregnancy in general.
Discuss with your doctor who a Doula is and whether you need one. A doula is a person (usually female) who performs a range of duties, from providing information to running errands before the birth. If you understand that such help will be necessary, it is worth checking with your doctor to find such an assistant.
In order not to worry about the normal development of the baby, check with your doctor – what vitamins and nutrients you need during this period. Also, be sure to tell the specialist if you have any allergies when using vitamin complexes – you may need to pick up new ones.
The 21st week of pregnancy: tips
If you received positive results at the second mandatory ultrasound scan of the 21st week of pregnancy, it is time to start preparing for the baby. You should not make major purchases, but you can think through all the details and plan your preparations. You should study and think about such moments:
- Knowing the approximate date of your baby’s birth, you should prepare for maternity leave – most likely you have already managed to talk about all the key points of the future maternity leave, but it is good to put all your work in order to avoid unnecessary excitement before the birth;
- You probably already know exactly the sex of the baby – think about how you will decorate the nursery. You can even begin to buy or at least look for suitable materials and furniture;
- It will be wonderful and memorable if you start to make a scrapbook, where you mark all the important moments of development – it may be a positive pregnancy test, ultrasound pictures and other things that describe or tell about a period of your life and baby.
By the way, do not turn down the opportunity to be alone with the sensations in your own body. Try to feel the baby’s movements to the smallest detail, try to talk to him, and much more. It is also useful to be with your baby’s father during these moments, because this connection is very important.
Try to keep your usual motor activity. Do not give up your daily walks, but you can reduce them if necessary. If you have previously practiced gymnastics or yoga for pregnant women, do not give up these activities, if your doctor approves it.
Be sure to pay attention to yourself and your body. Rest, take relaxing baths, make facial and body masks. It is especially important to take care of your emotions – do not worry, listen to your favorite music and talk to friends. We advise you to carefully treat the stretch marks that have appeared, and use special products that you can buy in the pharmacy.
The 21st week of pregnancy: questions and answers
Pregnancy, as you think, lasts incredibly long, but also very fast. During this time, you may have a lot of questions, with which you can be helped by family and friends, as well as numerous supporting literature. But you can always feel more confident after a consultation with an expert. And you can find answers to some of your questions now.
How many months pregnant at 21 weeks?
21 weeks of pregnancy is the sixth month. At this term, the second trimester is still going on, and it is also worth noting that most of the pregnancy is already behind you.
What should be the belly at 21 weeks of pregnancy?
As a rule, the belly at 21 weeks of pregnancy is no longer hidden – the roundness is quite noticeable. Every pregnant woman’s tummy is different, which depends on physiological characteristics and eating habits.
How many movements should there be at 21 weeks of pregnancy?
A woman herself may feel only 10-15 movements, but there are many more. Normally, the baby performs about 200 movements, but most of the day is still at rest and this is normal.
How big is the baby at 21 weeks?
The fetus at this term can grow to 27 or even 29 centimeters. The body proportions are almost the same as those of a newborn baby.