As you keep moving along with the ups and downs of pregnancy, one fine day you will find out that you are beyond the half point of your phase.
From now on, don’t try to be graceful with your walk. Learn to appreciate the waddle you will have to live with for another 19 weeks or so. Stop feeling guilty about being clumsy as well.
21 Weeks Pregnant:
The pregnancy hormones not just aid with the needs of your growing baby, but they also tamper with your body structure. Such as loosening up all of your bone joints, increasing blood volume, changing your center of gravity or playing with your blood pressure. Your growing tummy makes sleeping positions uncomfortable that adds to your woes.
Your baby will be testing your patience by becoming active and kicking around as soon as you try to catch 40 winks! Sounds thrilling aren’t it? Keep an eye on your weight and enjoy every moment while waiting for the D-day.
Changes In Your Body:
Now that you are in the second half of your pregnancy, you will notice incredible changes in your body and also in your baby. Here are the changes that occur in your body during the 21st week pregnancy:
- There is no more hiding your bump as it peeps out through your dresses unless you make extra efforts to hide it.
- You will see changes in the appearance of your belly button, which may lie flat now. Soon your growing baby will push it outwards.
- Your uterus is lying nearly ½ inch above your belly button now. You can feel it clearly if you know where to look for.
- You are growing big and it is not just your belly. Your breasts, feet or hands may appear swollen as well.
- The average weight gain for week 21 would be around 15 pounds. There is no way you can stop eating as your appetite is on fire.
Some more changes that you will feel during your 21st week of pregnancy:
[ Read: Breast Changes During Pregnancy ]
1. Cramps And Aches:
The changes in your body will cause unpopular aches and cramps in your legs.
- This is the time to put up your feet and act like a queen.
- It is also time to put away your heels and go for flats.
- Wear clothes that keep you comfortable.
[ Read: Wearing Heels During Pregnancy ]
2. Uplifting Your Mood:
The second half of your pregnancy will bring in a sense of peace and security.
- Knowing you have crossed a major milestone may give a lot of positive strokes to your mood.
- It may also re-establish a sense of control in you.
Apart from the above stated some discomfort and pregnancy symptoms may continue to bother you. But by now you have learnt to cope with them.
- You will continue to have heartburn, as your uterus continues to grow and push your innards upwards.
- The Braxton-Hicks contractions will continue to increase in frequency.
3. Chloasma – The Mask of Pregnancy:
Look out for the appearance of chloasma which is popularly known as the ‘Mask of Pregnancy’. It is also called Melasma or Chlosma as well.
- This is a skin condition where dark splotchy spots appear on your facial skin.
- This is due to increased skin pigmentation caused by hormonal changes in your body.
- Typically it will cover your cheeks and forehead.
Don’t worry, as there is a chance that you may be among those 50% of women who will not be affected by this skin condition. You can prevent the pregnancy chloasma by wearing sunscreen and protecting your skin from direct harsh rays of the sun; since exposure to the direct sun increases your chances of getting these dark spots.
21 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms And Signs:
You have read about symptoms that look dangerous and are a normal part of your pregnancy. But there are some signs and symptoms which should never be ignored especially during 22 weeks of pregnancy. Here they are that need to be brought to the attention of your health care provider immediately.
1. Increased Thirst:
It is natural for your appetite to increase during your pregnancy; hence a slight increase in your thirst will be expected. But if you feel there is a sudden increase in your thirst which may be accompanied with the dark yellow color of your urine; it could be a sign that you are dehydrated.
- Take in plenty of fluids to replace the water content in your body.
- Dehydration is not good for you whether you are a pregnant or not.
- Gestational diabetes, on the other hand, will increase your thirst and urine output at the same time.
- Bring this to the notice of your health care provider to keep yourself and your baby safe.
2. Tummy Ache:
You have had a tummy ache since the time you can remember. So, what is the big deal about this? During your second trimester in pregnancy this could well mean preeclampsia.
- This is a dangerous condition which happens when your placenta isn’t working properly.
- You need to get treated immediately to prevent any permanent damage to your growing baby in your womb.
- Without the proper functioning of your placenta, your baby will be deprived of oxygen and essential nutrients required for the growth and development.
- The risk of Preeclampsia increases during the second half of the second trimester, but there is no harm in watching out for it.
The symptoms of preeclampsia include high blood pressure and the presence of protein in urine. These symptoms may not come to your notice immediately, as it is tough for you to measure such changes. So you can watch out for secondary symptoms like:
- Sudden increase in swelling in your feet and hands
- Swelling in your face
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shooting pain in upper or middle abdomen just below ribs
- Blurring of vision
- Flashes appearing before your eyes
- Feeling something amiss with your body
Do not ignore the above symptoms, an early treatment, can ensure you a safe and sound pregnancy.
Pain in your lower belly or on either side of your belly should not be ignored either. Usually the pains subside without any treatment, unless you have stretched or pulled a muscle/ligament. But persistent or severe pain could indicate:
- Premature labor
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Placenta separating from the uterus, which is known as placental abruption
- Breaking or bleeding of a fibroid
3. Rise In Body Temperature:
Typically you don’t have to worry and rush to your doctor every time there is a slight rise in mercury of your thermometer, but during pregnancy you need be extra careful by consulting your health care provider to prevent any harm to your baby.
- Fever may also indicate some kind of infections which may not be safe for you or your baby.
- Take the prescribed medicines and rest until you feel better and have normal temperature once again.
[ Read: Fever During Pregnancy ]
Vaginal bleeding of any form should not be ignored. It should be brought to the notice of your doctor; so that you can be sure it is not dangerous. There are times when the hormones that cause you to menstruate will continue to push its function causing spotting or light bleeding in you. This is a harmless condition which may occur during your pregnancy.
However, bleeding that is accompanied by following symptoms can indicate serious health issues:
- One sided pain in abdomen
- Clots in blood
- Heavy bleeding
- Back and abdominal pain that does not go away
- Painless and sudden bleeding
Vaginal bleeding could be a sign of:
- Pre- eclampsia
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Placental abruption
- Placenta praevia (a condition where the placenta lies low)
- Premature labor
Do not ignore any type of fluid leaking from your vagina. It could be your water that has broken prematurely, which is not a good sign unless you are past week 37 of your pregnancy.
Changes In Your Baby:
Not bothered about any signs or symptoms, your baby girl is growing comfortably in your womb. Let us know the changes your baby will be going through inside your womb:
With all the strong kicks and nudges your baby gives, you may wonder whether you are rearing a martial arts expert in your womb! Though she has pinkish wrinkled skin, she looks cute swimming in the amniotic fluid.
2. Sense Of Vision:
She has pretty eyebrows and eyelashes to decorate her pretty eyes which remain closed. Even through the closed eyelids, she can differentiate between light and dark and responds to the light stimulus.
4. Production Of Vernix:
She has sharp nails which could rupture her skin if it was not protected by a thick coating of vernix caseosa.
5. Matured Digestive System:
Her digestive system is maturing to get prepared for the life outside your womb. The amount of meconium keeps increasing.
As she grows in size, her movements make a strong impact on your uterine walls. For a baby girl, the maturing of the vagina starts to take place from now on.
7. Swallowing Abilities:
It may come as a surprise to you that the taste of the amniotic fluid will change according to the food you eat. Thus, whatever you taste will be passed on to your baby through the amniotic fluid she swallows in your womb.
Size Of Your Baby:
The size of your baby at week 21 is similar to a large carrot or banana .
- The average crown to heel measurement of your baby will be nearly 10.51 inches (26.7 cm).
- Your baby will weigh around 12.70 ounces (approx 360 grams).
Care and Tips for Week 21 Pregnancy:
1. Fun Activity:
May be it is time for your partner to feel the movement of your baby in your abdomen. Even if he cannot feel, just give it a try every time you feel your baby is being active.
- Try to record his expression when he feels the baby move in your abdomen for the first time.
- This will be something you, your partner and your child will treasure forever.
2. Sexual Desires:
There will be changes in your sexual desires during your pregnancy. You may either start craving for sex or may feel as though you don’t want to have sex ever again in your life. Both extremes are normal and not permanent.
- If you are craving for sex and want to enjoy some intimacy with your partner, it’s better to do some research on good and safer positions. Definitely, this is not the time to try out the Kamasutra postures.
- If you not feel right to have sex, explain to your partner that you love him, but at present you do not want to indulge. Also let him know that this is a passing phase in your life. It is normal for your partner to feel insecure when you are pregnant.
Tips For Dad To Be:
May be it is time for you and your partner to start working on your home and make changes to accommodate the most important person in your life.
- You can spend some time together all alone as this is the perfect time and it will be difficult with the arrival of your baby.
- Try to feel the movement of your baby in your partner’s womb. The experience is going to beat everything you have ever felt before in your life.
- Cook for your baby. How? Just cook for your wife and your baby will get to taste the food from ingesting the amniotic fluid which acquires the taste.
Are you in your 21st week of pregnancy? Don’t forget to share your experiences with us. We would love to see your responses.
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