When you are 21 weeks pregnant, your baby can be seen swallowing amniotic fluid on an ultra scan.
If you want to peek into you womb to see the development of your unborn baby, check out these fetal development videos.
Your belly is growing rapidly now, and you may feel ready to burst some days.
In this article:
Your Baby’s Development
The fetal age of your baby is now 19 weeks. Even most 1st time pregnant women can feel the baby kick. If you can’t, don’t worry. Give it two more weeks, and you are most likely to have felt the very first kick.
During an ultra scan, it is still possible to see all of the baby at the same time. As he or she grows older, you will only be able to see part of the baby. So enjoy these last weeks of being able to have a full view of your child. After that, it will take until after birth.
Here is more on what is going on with your baby at 21 weeks pregnant:
- At 10.5 inches (26.5 cm) long; the size of a banana, your little baby is about 0.5 of a pound (230 gr) now and although your baby’s growth rate is starting to slow down, the organ systems continue to mature preparing them for life outside.
- The umbilical cord is thickening in size and growing in length as it travels blood from you to your baby and the placenta is almost the same size as your baby.
- The digestive system matures enough so that the intestines will contract and relax as your baby absorbs small amounts of amniotic fluid that is swallowed as it travels through to the large bowel.
- The continuation of maturing organs, tissues and body parts are apparent during this time, and the legs have reached their relative proportions now.
- The heart is growing stronger during this time as well, while the teeth buds are forming in the gums, perfect for chewing later.
- The brown fat deposits that your little one began to form in the 4th month of pregnancy are building up in areas such as the chest, crotch and neck which all contribute to maintaining an overall consistent body temperature outside of the womb.
As your baby gains weight and fat, you will notice that you will also follow along suit. Your uterus should measure about 0.5 inch (1-1.5 cm) above your navel and your pregnancy should be quite apparent even to strangers. If you are curious on how the composition of your weight gain, read all about it here.
Some women find that maternity support belts, like this one help avoid edema or discomfort in the ankles and legs through the rest of pregnancy.
Maternity support hoses can also aid in reducing the swelling and varicose veins problems that can occur for many women due to the increase of weight and pressure put on the legs when standing. Your balance may also be off so be sure to watch your footing and keep your shoes at a lower heel for the latter part of your pregnancy.
Hemorrhoids can also appear for many mothers-to-be during this time of pregnancy due to the extra pressure of the uterus pressing up against the rectum.
Gum sensitivity is another pregnancy symptom that can vary from woman to woman. (Yet another symptom, will the list ever end…)
Some women find that light exercise will help ease the aches and pains of pregnancy in many areas. The legs, back and even pelvic regions can benefit from stretching and improved circulation due to a brisk walk or a pregnancy yoga class. Constipation can occur as your body produces progesterone, which causes the muscles to relax; therefore things moving through the bowel will take more time and will absorb more water.
Do not feel worried if you experience one or more of these symptoms, since each pregnancy is different and each woman’s body will handle pregnancies differently.
Many local fitness centers will offer these classes, or contact your health care provider for any referrals for pregnancy nutrition and fitness centers in your area. Expectant mothers groups and local community organizations are also a great place to look for prenatal fitness classes for mothers-to-be at any stage in pregnancy.
If you can’t find any classes or simply want to exercise at home, check out this Prenatal Yoga DVD with Shiva Rea.
If you are curious on pregnancy yoga, you can read more about it here. And here we have compiled video clips showing the 9 most common pregnancy yoga poses to give you an idea of what you will be doing during a prenatal yoga class.
Week 21 Video Gallery
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I had my iron levels checked – too low at hb 108. No wonder I feel tired! I have started with iron supplements. Hope it helps!
Are you also 21 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below!
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MayoClinic (2011), Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD (2008) The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. (2004) A Child Is Born.
Soderberg, L. (2010) Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.
Image: Image of 21 weeks belly by Graham and Sheila