21 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

21 Weeks Pregnant - Everything You Need To Know

You’re 21 weeks pregnant!

You may start noticing it’s not as easy to stand up, sit down or pick things up off the floor.

Your centre of gravity shifts as your belly begins to grow.

This means taking notice of your posture more, especially when you’re sitting down.

You may need to adjust the way you sit down, stand up and do other physical activities.

This will help minimise backache and strain.

21 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

You should find exercise is still pretty easy.

It’s also really great for your body and helps you sleep better.

Stick to exercise activities which don’t put you at risk for falling or being hit in the stomach (e.g. horse riding or karate).

You also want to avoid becoming overheated and dehydrated.

So keep fluids up during and after any exercise.

You may find that you get breathless a little quicker because your uterus is pushing up and squashing your diaphragm.

If you already exercise or take part in a sport, make sure you stick within your limits.

If you are just starting an exercise program, you should start slowly.

It’s a good idea to talk to your care provider first, to make sure you choose the best program for you.

You might like to read Exercise And Pregnancy – Can I Exercise In Pregnancy? to find out more. 

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21 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body

You may notice varicose veins making an appearance.

These are caused by the extra pressure on the veins in your legs.

As well as higher progesterone levels making the vein walls relax.

You’re more likely to get varicose veins as you have subsequent pregnancies and if other family members are prone to them.

Regular gentle exercise, resting with your feet up and maternity support hose are all ways you can alleviate varicose veins.

Your skin is doing some might work stretching to accomodate your growing belly.

The skin can feel tight, dry and very itchy.

This can be more pronounced at the end of the day, after having tight clothes on the area.

Try rubbing a pregnancy friendly lotion on the area twice a day.

This will help keep your skin softer and less prone to drying out and becoming itchy.

You might start noticing some stretch marks in the area of your belly or breasts.

These are red, pink or purple streaks that appear as the skin stretches.

Stretch makes happen when the support under your skin is torn as it stretches.

Rapid weight gain can make them more noticeable, so it’s a good idea to eat healthy and exercise so your weight gain is slow and steady.

At 21 weeks pregnant, some pregnant women notice Braxton Hicks contractions.

This is your uterus tightening and releasing.

These contractions have been happening since you were about 7 weeks pregnant.

They aren’t painful and shouldn’t cause you any alarm.

Braxton Hicks will increase in frequency and intensity from now until baby arrives.

If they do become painful, make sure you speak to your care provider just to be sure.

It could be an irritable uterus, meaning you need to take things a bit easier.

21 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby

Your baby is gaining weight rapidly and looks much more like a newborn.

The skin of your baby is still very wrinkly as there’s room to put on plenty more weight.

Your baby’s arms and legs are now more in proportion with the rest of their body.

Movements are also more coordinated.

Something you may have noticed is the size of your baby at 21 weeks pregnant takes a jump.

This is because from here, your baby is measured from crown to heel, not crown to rump.

Your baby still has plenty of room to move in there though.

You’re probably past feeling fluttering movements and can feel solid bumps and pokes when baby moves about.

Especially when baby rolls somersaults in the middle of the night!

As your baby grows, there’ll be less room to perform large movements and it’ll get quite cramped in there.

It’s hard to believe with all the movement you’re feeling that your baby sleeps at all!

But they actually sleep quite a lot – most often when you’re awake and your movement lulls them to sleep.

Which is why you often feel your baby move more at night.

You’re less distracted for one, but also because you’re moving less.

This week, your baby is 23 cm long and weighs about 340 grams. At 21 weeks your baby is around the size of a carrot.

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Last Updated: November 18, 2018

CONTRIBUTOR

Sam McCulloch enjoyed talking so much about birth she decided to become a birth educator and doula, supporting parents in making informed choices about their birth experience. In her spare time she writes novels. She is mother to three beautiful little humans.


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