You’re 21 weeks pregnant!
You might notice it’s not so easy to stand up, sit down or pick things up off the floor right now.
Your centre of gravity shifts as your belly begins to grow.
This means you should take more notice of your posture, especially when you’re sitting down.
You might 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 that don’t put you at risk of falling or being hit in the stomach (e.g. horse riding or karate).
You should also avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated.
Make sure to keep fluids up during and after any exercise.
You might find you get breathless a little more quickly. This is because your uterus is pushing up and squashing your diaphragm.
If you already exercise or take part in a sport, be sure to stay 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.
21 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms
You might notice varicose veins making an appearance.
They are caused by the extra pressure on the veins in your legs.
Higher progesterone levels also make the vein walls relax.
You’re more likely to get varicose veins with each subsequent pregnancy, and if other family members are prone to them.
Regular gentle exercise, periods of rest with your feet up, and maternity support hose are some of the ways you can alleviate varicose veins.
Your skin is doing some mighty work, as it stretches to accommodate your growing belly.
As a result it can feel tight, dry and very itchy.
This is often more pronounced at the end of the day, if you have worn tight clothes on a particular 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 also notice some stretch marks in the area of your belly or breasts.
They are red, pink or purple streaks that appear as the skin stretches.
Stretch marks happen when the supportive tissue 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 do some exercise, so your weight gain is slow and steady.
21 Weeks Pregnant Belly
How many months is 21 weeks pregnant? You’re still in your fifth month of pregnancy.
At 21 weeks pregnant, some 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.
You could have an irritable uterus, which means you will 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.
At this stage, babies’ skin is still very wrinkly as there’s room to put on plenty more weight.
Their arms and legs are now more in proportion with the rest of their body.
Movements are also more coordinated.
You might have noticed your baby’s size seems to have taken a jump at 21 weeks pregnant.
This is because from now on, your baby is measured from crown to heel, not crown to rump.
There is still plenty of room for your baby to move around in there though.
You’re probably past feeling little fluttering movements. Instead, you’ll feel solid bumps and pokes when baby moves about.
You’ll notice it 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 will eventually get quite cramped in there.
It’s hard to believe, with all the movement you’re feeling, that your baby sleeps at all.
In fact, he actually sleeps quite a lot – mostly when you’re awake and your movement lulls him to sleep.
That’s why you often feel your baby move more at night.
You’re less distracted then, but it’s also because you’re moving less.
This week, your baby is 23 cm long and weighs about 340 grams. At 21 weeks pregnant, your baby is around the size of a carrot.