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When you are 21 weeks pregnant, your baby can be seen swallowing amniotic fluid on an ultra scan. Your belly is growing rapidly now, and some days you may feel like you are about to burst.

This article will cover fetal development, how big your baby is, what month you are actually in, pregnancy symptoms, and what’s happening with your belly and body, mom.

Week 20 | Week 22

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What to Expect When 21 Weeks Pregnant?

In this article:

How Many Months is 21 Weeks Pregnant?

At 21 weeks pregnant, you are in your second trimester and in the fifth month of pregnancy.
Counting pregnancy weeks and months can be really confusing sometimes. To avoid confusion, it is usually best to stick to counting weeks and not worry about months.

But, because women are often asked what month they are in or how many months pregnant they are, we wrote a guide to help you understand how to count it.

Your Baby at 21 Weeks

How Big is My Baby at 21 Weeks?

21 weeks pregnant ultra scanPinThe fetal age of your baby is now 19 weeks.

At this point, most women can feel the baby kick, even if they are first-time moms. If you can’t, don’t worry. Give it two more weeks, and you will most likely feel the very first kick.

During an ultrasound, it is still possible to see your baby’s entire body at once. As the baby grows bigger, you will only see different parts of their body on the screen because the whole body won’t fit on it anymore. So enjoy these last weeks of having a full view of your child.

At 10.5 inches (26.5 cm) long, your baby is about 0.5 a pound (230 gr) now and the size of a banana. Although your baby’s growth rate is starting to slow down, the organ systems continue to mature, preparing them for life outside.

What Does my Baby Look Like at 21 Weeks Pregnant?

Your little one’s eyebrows and hair are growing and becoming thicker. Do you already wonder if your baby will be born with a lot of hair?

A fine hair called lanugo has been growing all over your baby’s body for the last few weeks, but it usually disappears before birth.

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, all of which contribute to maintaining an overall consistent body temperature outside of the womb.

The arms and legs have reached their relative proportions at this point. Your little one’s fingers and toes are also formed now, and your baby might even start sucking on her thumb.

Fetal development

The continuation of maturing organs, tissues, and body parts is apparent during this time.

No matter if you already feel it or not, your little one is moving a lot, and there is still a lot of room for him in your womb. But it is getting smaller every day as your baby grows bigger and stronger.

Your baby hears sounds outside of a womb. Talk and sing to her. Don’t worry if you think you can’t sing. Your little one won’t care, just hearing your voice sounds perfect.

The umbilical cord is thickening in size and growing in length as it transfers blood from you to your baby and the placenta is almost the same size as your baby.

The digestive system matures. The intestines will now contract and relax and absorb the small amounts of the swallowed amniotic fluid while it travels through to the large bowel. With the maturing of the digestive system, meconium (the earliest thick, black stool) is produced.

The heart is growing stronger. A baby’s heart beats approximately twice as fast as yours, somewhere around 120 to 160 beats per minute.

Until now, the baby’s liver mostly made your baby’s red blood cells, but the bone marrow is slowly taking over that role and will soon produce the red blood cells solely.

The teeth buds are forming in the gums, perfect for chewing later.

Mom’s Body in Pregnancy Week 21

The Belly

As your baby gains weight and fat, you will notice that you will also follow along.

Your uterus should measure about 0.5 inches (1-1.5 cm) above your navel and your pregnancy should be quite apparent even to strangers. If you are curious about how the composition of your weight gain, read all about it here.

Pregnancy Symptoms

21 weeks pregnant bellyPinAlthough mild headaches in pregnancy are common, severe headaches might be a sign of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia usually starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some other preeclampsia signs include high blood pressure, excessive swelling, vision changes, nausea, etc. If you notice any of these signs or you have bad headaches, talk to your doctor.

For some women, stretch marks might start to appear at this point. They are the result of your body expanding, and your skin stretching due to belly growth and weight gain.

You might notice swollen and purple or blue veins appearing on your legs. These are varicose veins. They are common in pregnancy and develop due to increased pressure on your legs because of the added weight and extra fluid and hormone changes in pregnancy.
Your balance may be off because your center of gravity shifts and your joints loosen, so be sure to watch your footing and choose shoes with a low heel for the latter part of your pregnancy.

Constipation can occur as your body produces progesterone, which causes the muscles to relax. Therefore, it will take longer for food to move through the bowel, and it will absorb more water. Try to eat fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of water to avoid or relieve constipation.

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 appear, but it varies from woman to woman. (Yet another symptom, will the list ever end…)

Some women find that light exercise helps ease the aches and pains of pregnancy in many areas. The legs, back, and even pelvic region can benefit from stretching and improved circulation due to a brisk walk or a pregnancy yoga class.
Do not feel worried if you experience only one or many of these symptoms. Each pregnancy is different, and each woman’s body will handle pregnancy differently.

Things to do and buy this week

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 (stockings) can also aid in reducing the swelling and varicose veins problems that can occur for many women due to the increase in weight and pressure put on the legs when standing.
Find time to sit with elevated feet a few times during the day or after spending some time on your feet. Elevating the feet helps with swelling and will help you relax and recover a bit.

Many local fitness centers offer prenatal fitness classes that are a great way for expectant mothers to stay active during pregnancy. You can also contact your healthcare provider to get information about pregnancy nutrition and fitness centers in your area. Expectant mothers’ groups and local community organizations are also great places to look for prenatal fitness classes for mothers-to-be at any pregnancy stage.

If you can’t find any classes or simply want to exercise at home, check out this Prenatal Yoga online class.

If you are curious about 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.

Get immediate expert help with your pregnancy questions through JustAnswer Pregnancy:

Week 21 Pregnancy Video

21 Weeks Pregnant: What You Really Need To Know

Diary of a Daughter

What’s it really like being 21 weeks pregnant…? Here’s a true diary from a 21 weeks pregnant mom (Me..!)

This was a calm week, but I can really feel the stomach growing. Some days it feels almost like pain from exercising too much.

I had my iron levels checked – too low at HB 108. No wonder I feel tired! I have started with iron supplements. I hope it helps!

Are you also 21 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below!

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Image: Image of 21 weeks belly by Graham and Sheila


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