21 Weeks Pregnant - Baby Development, Pregnancy Symptoms & Tips

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21 Weeks Pregnant - Baby Development, Pregnancy Symptoms & Tips

21 Weeks Pregnant
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How Big Is My Baby At 21 Weeks Pregnant?

Your baby now has eyelids and eyebrows and is about the size of a big carrot. The baby is about 10.51 inches and weighs about 12.70 ounces.

Baby Development 

  • Your baby’s movements get stronger and regular.
  • Your baby’s central nervous system is developing fast.
  • Your baby’s eyelids and eyebrows have fully developed.
  • The intestine has developed and can absorb sugar from amniotic fluid.
  • Bone marrow starts producing blood cells, but the liver and spleen continue to produce them.
  • Buds for permanent teeth are beginning to develop in the gums.
  • The hair on the head and eyebrows is beginning to get thicker at the roots.

21 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

Weight Gain:  By this week you would have gained 9-14 pounds. Gaining 1-2 pounds per week is normal in the second semester.

Headaches:  Headaches are common during pregnancy. Headaches are caused by the surge of pregnancy hormones. Hunger, dehydration, lack of sleep, and stress can also cause headaches. Practicing some relaxing techniques will help you deal with common headaches. Headaches can be a sign of preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy). Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) and take rest to get relief. If your headache doesn’t go away or gets worse even after taking the medicine and rest, call your doctor.

Leaking Breasts:  At the end of the first trimester, your milk ducts are now fully developed in preparation for birth which can result in leaking breasts.

Heartburn & Indigestion:  Heartburn occurs when stomach acids move upwards to the esophagus. This happens due to the relaxation of the valve between the stomach and esophagus. Indigestion occurs due to the relaxed digestive system caused by pregnancy hormones. Avoid spicy or greasy food, which may trigger heartburn.

Varicose Veins:  You might notice visible veins crisscrossing your breasts, abdominal area, and legs. This is a symptom of varicose veins and is common during pregnancy. Varicose veins are swelling and enlarged veins mostly in the lower legs and feet.  Increased blood volume during pregnancy causes veins to swell and enlarge. The pressure exerted by the uterus on the large veins behind it causes the blood to slow in its return to the heart. These things cause varicose veins. Changing positions often, propping your legs, getting plenty of exercises, and avoiding tight clothes and shoes can help.

Backache:  Hormonal changes, the growing size of the breasts, and the pressure exerted by the baby can cause a backache. Doing low-impact exercise and stretching your body regularly can help.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI):  If you feel pain or burning sensation while urinating, it could be due to UTI. The other symptoms of UTI are foul-smelling urine, pain in the pubic area, and frequent urination. Fever and chills may also accompany the condition.

Braxton Hicks Contractions:  You may feel irregular and less painful contractions as your uterus becomes tight and prepares for labor. These miniature contractions are perfectly normal at this point of your pregnancy. They normally disappear when you change positions. Call your doctor if contractions persist.

Increased Appetite:  Your appetite increases a lot in this week. You will feel a lot hungrier because your baby is growing and demands more nourishment. Eat small meals whenever you are hungry.

Itchy Skin:  The skin on your stomach stretches, become thinner and dries out due to increased pressure by the expanding uterus. This can lead to an itchy, dry feeling.

Stretch Marks:  You may notice stretch marks on breasts, stomach, bottom, hips, thighs, and legs. This is happening because your body is expanding and the supporting tissue under your skin gets torn as your skin stretches.

Edema:  You may notice swelling of your feet and ankles. This happens because your body has more blood and retains more fluids during pregnancy than before. Some of this fluid can move towards the lowest parts of your body leading to swelling. This is normal and there is no cause for worry. Avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time and popping your feet up high will help.

21 Weeks Pregnant: Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

  • Enroll in a childbirth class to learn and prepare for your upcoming labor and birth.
  • Think about when you want to take maternity leave and inform your employer.
  • Continue to follow good prenatal habits like eating healthy food and taking folic acid and prenatal vitamins daily.
  • Make yourself comfortable by wearing breathable loose clothes and supportive bra.
  • Include healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean meat, cereals, and dairy products in your diet.
  • Make sure to get enough calcium by eating calcium-rich foods or taking a calcium supplement.
  • Eat small meals or snacks at regular intervals for better digestion and to prevent heartburn.
  • Keep yourself adequately hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
  • Take plenty of rest and sleep at least 8 hours a day.
  • Engage in moderate exercise, such as stretching, walking, or swimming.
  • Avoid long and strenuous physical activity or exercises involving jerky or sudden movements.
  • Don’t take any medication or herb without your doctor’s clearance.
  • Spend time with family, friends, and other loved ones and share your feelings. This will help you to cope with stress and anxiety and stay calm and relaxed.

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