21 Weeks Pregnant – What Happens When You’re 21 Weeks Pregnant

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21 Weeks Pregnant – What Happens When You’re 21 Weeks Pregnant

21 weeks pregnant

Welcome to your 21st week of pregnancy! You’re unmistakably pregnant now, and have likely gained somewhere between 4 and 7 kilograms of weight. Your belly may be big enough that you are starting to feel your center of gravity shift. You may start to have to make modifications to how you sit down, stand up and do other physical activities. But, you don’t yet have that “pregnancy waddle” and don’t have to worry about it for several more weeks.

Exercise is still pretty easy, and is good for your body. You may find that you have to slow down a little, however, due to some shortness of breath.

21 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body

Most women feel energetic and really enjoy this period of pregnancy. You definitely have pregnancy symptoms, but they are usually pretty mild during this time, and you can typically easily treat them. Your skin might be itchy from stretching, so be sure to use moisturiser every day. You may also have heartburn, especially after dinner. You may be able to minimise the symptoms by eating an early dinner, since the symptoms get worse if you lie down right after eating. Swelling can usually be easily controlled at this point by just propping up those feet at the end of a long day. If you are experiencing leg and foot cramps, remember to get your daily dose of calcium, as it can reduce the cramping.

You may also start to notice Braxton Hicks contractions now. This is your uterus tightening and releasing. These contractions are your body’s way of practicing for labour. They aren’t painful and shouldn’t cause you any alarm. They will increase in frequency and intensity from now until baby arrives. If they do become painful, make sure you speak to your doctor, midwife or phone the maternity ward just to be sure. It could be an irritable uterus meaning you need to take things a bit easier.

Kidney infections can also become a risk now. Your higher levels of progesterone can cause a decrease in kidney functions, and lead to an infection. Keep a watch for any signs of blood in your urine or painful urination, as you’re now at risk for both bladder and kidney infections.

This is a great time to begin getting prenatal massages. Your body is just starting to experience some of the aches and pains that come with the strain of carrying a baby, and massage can alleviate many symptoms and help you relax. Finding ways to relax is especially important now, as all of your symptoms are likely to increase in intensity when you’re feeling stressed out.

21 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby

This week, your baby weighs about 340 grams, and is about 23 cm long.

He is gaining weight much more rapidly, and looks much more like a newborn. He still has a lot of weight to gain, however, before he is born. Because he still needs to fill out a bit, his skin is still very wrinkly. His eyebrows are developed now, giving his face much more expression.

His digestive system is starting to create meconium, a tarry substance that will make up his first dirty diaper. It’s his body’s way of getting ready for regular digestive processes.

Kelly Winder is a birth attendant (aka doula), the creator of BellyBelly and mum to three beautiful children. Follow Kelly on Google+ and become a fan of BellyBelly on Facebook. BellyBelly is also on Twitter. Please note that all of my suggestions and advice are of a generalised nature only and are not intended to replace advice from a qualified professional. BellyBelly.com.au – The Thinking Woman’s Website For Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.


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