Week Twenty One of Pregnancy

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Your baby at week twenty one of pregnancy

Now just over half way through your pregnancy, your baby is roughly 23cm in length (approximately the length of a banana), and weighs around 354g.

There is still enough room inside your uterus for your baby to move around, even to do somersaults! Most of your little one’s nourishment is still coming from the placenta, however the sudden growth spurt is due to your baby now having a fully functioning stomach, which can now absorb nutrients and vitamins from the amniotic fluid that he or she is getting so well practiced at swallowing.

Your baby is also putting on more fat which will give the cute and squishy appearance of your newborn. Your little one’s taste buds are now more advanced and can taste the amniotic liquid which may be flavored depending on what foods you have been consuming! Your baby also now sleeps and wakes in a regular cycle, and might even have a favorite sleeping position.

Your body at week twenty one of pregnancy   

Due to your shifted center of gravity, your lower back is being pulled forward, this combined with the looseness of your ligaments and joints due to the relaxin hormone, will most probably be causing you back ache. To remedy this, elevate your feet whilst sitting and try to have one leg on a low stool when standing to relieve the pressure on your lower back. Now that you are starting to appear far more visibly pregnant, you may be feeling nervous and anxious, about the birth and the intense responsibility of looming parenthood. Do not panic, it is good to address these anxieties and discuss them with your partner, or friends who are already parents, as well as perhaps your own parents.

Stretch marks may also put in an appearance as your skin stretches to accommodate your new bump. These are purple or red in color and can appear on your tummy, thighs, hips and breasts.

What you may be feeling at week twenty one of pregnancy

By now many of the early discomforts will have settled and your baby is not yet large enough to bring the discomforts of later pregnancy. You may feel contented and peaceful and very harmonious with your state of expectant mother, or you may feel irritated, overweight and fed up. Exercise, even going for a short walk, will elevate your mood and help you put things into perspective. Swimming, yoga and a meditation class are all good ways to calm your senses. If you prefer time alone to connect with your baby and settle your mind make sure you take the time to find some quiet solitude, to read a book or listen to music. Sometimes a good talk with another expectant mum can be just what you need to remember that your feeling are shared with many women, are normal and will pass.

Common symptoms at week twenty one of pregnancy

  • A blue tinge to your legs (this is related to hormones and not blood supply, it will settle after delivery
  • Swollen gums and sensitivity
  • Breast increase and darkening of the nipples which will be enlarging
  • Nosebleeds due to increased blood-flow and sensitive nasal passages
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body aches
  • Stretch marks
  • Skin pigmentation
  • Anxiety about the birth and parenthood
  • Back ache
  • Stretch marks

Tips for week twenty one of pregnancy

  • If you experience stretch marks, although they are not entirely preventable, you can help by applying a good moisturizer or body oil regularly.
  • Avoiding rapid weight gain due to bad nutritional choices will help prevent unnecessary stretch marks.
  • If you are feeling anxious or lonely look for classes designed for expectant mothers whether they be exercise classes or parenting classes, or simply arrange to meet a friend for a chat to lift your spirits. Don’t isolate yourself.

If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.

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