Time is racing! You are 21 weeks pregnant and, past halfway your pregnancy journey. So, have you found the best baby name? Well, some parents easily come up with their baby’s names while others find it an uphill task. If you are yet to get the perfect name, keep digging all sorts of angles; cool names, hipster names, and beautiful names among others. Here is what you need to know about your pregnancy at 21 weeks.
Your Baby at 21 Weeks Pregnant
Over the last few weeks, the baby’s growth has accelerated and is now about 10.5 inches and 12.7 ounces. As the baby’s organs continue developing, your body will also be packing fat under the skin. But these are not the only developments taking place this week! Have a look at other things taking place in your bundle of joy.
Your Baby is a Gymnast!
Hey, your baby got the moves! All along, the baby’s movements have been poorly coordinated. But the legs and arms have now grown and the movements are more coordinated. This is not all! The kicks, punches, and twists are also in tandem with the sleep-wake cycles.
The Spleen, Liver, and Bone Marrow are Busy Creating Blood Cells
Since you fell pregnant, have you thought about the baby’s blood? It is a common misconception that blood flows from the mother to the body. The truth is that the baby creates own blood. Week 21 marks an important milestone when your baby’s liver and spleen are hard at work producing blood cells. Now that the bone marrow has started developing in the bones, it is also helping to increase the blood cells development.
Baby’s Taste Buds are Developed and Tasting the Food You Eat
Do you like carrots, bananas or yogurt? Well, the baby will get to taste the same starting this week. As the brain differentiation that started last week advances, the baby’s taste buds have developed fast and become active. When you take food such as carrots, they will be available in the amniotic fluid after digestion. Then, the baby will take it together with chunks of amniotic fluid.
Studies have demonstrated that babies exposed to specific tastes in utero are likely to like similar foods after birth. Therefore, if you love broccoli, the baby is likely to also enjoy them after delivery.
Heartthrobs are Intensifying
Place a stethoscope on the baby bump and you are likely to hear the heart beating. The heart has been developing and beating slowly starting from the last week of the first trimester. But the heart muscles and valves have now grown and beating harder. To note the difference between your heartbeat and that of the baby, simply figure the rate difference. The baby’s heart rate will be more; between 120 and 160 beats/ minute.
Your Body at 21 Weeks Pregnant
Have you heard the baby kicking? If you have not, listen again. The baby is busy making the kicks and pushes that feel so lovely. At first, the kicks and twists might be mistaken for mild stomach upsets. But it is your bundle of joy kicking in frenzy! Note that though the kicks might be light, they will become stronger in the coming months.
At week 21, the baby is growing fast and wants to ensure he/she leaves a mark by stretching your skin. Therefore, the belly is likely to develop stretch marks. But it’s not just the belly that will suffer these stretches. The butt, thighs, breasts, and hips will also develop the red, pink and purple streaks. Well, simply apply some oil to keep the skin oiled and free from itching.
21 Weeks Pregnant is How Many Months?
At 21 weeks pregnant, you are well into the fifth month (4 months and three weeks). You are about to get into the sixth month. You know what? The end is now becoming clearer. If you are carrying twins, the end could even be nearer.
21 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound
If you have an ultrasound this week, it will amaze you! You will be able to see on the screen the details of the baby’s different organs. The brain hemispheres will be seen as different sections continue separating. This differentiation is what has been helping the baby develop senses such as taste and hearing.
An ultrasound scan in this week would also show the different chambers of the heart beating continuously. This is an indication that the transport system of the baby is now functional. If you take a closer look, tiny blood vessels have also started carrying blood and distributing nutrients to different sections. Well, get lots of pictures and keep them; your baby will be amazed by them after delivery and growing up!
21 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Have you started sensing some shift in gravity? This is one of the things you are likely to experience as the growing baby bump shifts the weight forward. If you are a fan of high heel shoes, this can become a major issue. Instead, you should go for low heel shoes and be mindful of your steps everywhere you go. The shift in gravity will persist to the end of your pregnancy. Other symptoms to expect at week 21 of pregnancy include:
The high levels of hormones in the body and elevated metabolism can make you feel hot and sweaty most of the times. To address this, you should make sure to take a lot of cold beverages and water. Besides, you should also keep the house properly ventilated.
If you are getting leg cramps regularly, it is a common thing for pregnant moms. You will also realize that the cramps strike after staying in one position for some time, especially at night. To soothe the muscles, it is advisable to ensure you stretch the legs, take more fluids, and a hot shower.
If you find the toothbrush turning pink when brushing, it is because of the elevated blood flow into the dental and nasal areas. To reduce the problem, consider using a softer toothbrush and taking cold water regularly. However, you might want to discuss it with your healthcare provider during the next appointment.
This is another common problem that you are likely to experience around the 21st week. It is caused by the hormones in the body or dehydration. Note that if the headache persists more than two hours and common painkillers do not appear to help, you need to get checked for high blood pressure. It could be a symptom of preeclampsia.
Things to Do at 21 Weeks Pregnant
As your baby bump grows further in the 21st week, the shifting center of gravity will require some adjustments in your lifestyle. It is important to change the exercises you do and go for what is more comfortable. For example, you should consider walking for about 20-30 minutes every day as opposed to doing squats. Other things to do include:
Start Taking Vitamin B Supplements
These include Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B6 that help protect and supply more energy to the body for proper development.
Continue your Childbirth Classes
Make sure to ask more questions about childbirth in your lessons. What exactly happens when one goes into labor?
Shop for More Maternity Clothes
As the baby bump keeps growing, the clothes that you are wearing now will no longer fit you. Therefore, ensure to buy more maternity clothes.
Add more Names in the Baby’s List
Now that you know whether you are pregnant with a boy or girl, it is time to add more names to baby’s name List. If the list is conclusive, start narrowing down to the best names.
21 Weeks Pregnant Checklist
- Make sure to note how many times you feel the baby kicking.
- Plan for the gestational diabetes test.
- Identify and narrow down to several medical facilities for delivery.
- Take your regular dose of folic acid.
- Create a list of items you will need for the baby shower. You can grow this list in the coming weeks.
- Call your medical insurance to confirm that everything is okay. You could even drive to their offices.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor at 21 Weeks Pregnant
- What are the best foods to boost iron supply in the body?
- What is Down syndrome and what causes it? Is my baby at risk of suffering Down syndrome?
- What is gestational diabetes?
If you are 21 weeks pregnant, this is a period of accelerated baby growth. Most of the organs are already properly formed, and your baby is more active. Therefore, go ahead and enjoy every minute of this week. Have lots of fun!