21 weeks of pregnancy - this is the fifth month or the second trimester
What to Expect at 21 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby grows, develops and is getting ready for the new life outside the mother’s belly. His weight has exceeded 350 grams (12 ounces). He swallows amniotic fluid containing epithelial cells, liquid is digested, and the intestines absorb hard skin cells. The baby’s immune system starts functioning and produces blood cells: leukocytes and platelets. The baby moves actively inside the amniotic sac, there is still enough space inside. Even though he can’t open his eyes yet, he can distinguish different tastes, as the first taste buds have already appeared on his tongue.
For the expectant moms this week of pregnancy is not different from the previous ones, however, they can gain weigh rapidly. The baby is building fat tissue, and the mom is gaining weigh, too. The mother eats well, but due to the increased metabolism, she can afford these gastronomical whims. Try to stick to proper nutrition and avoid unhealthy food.
Starting at the 20th week of pregnancy, the fetal growth is determined as the crown-heel length. By the 21st week the fetus is approximately 26.7 cm long (10.5 inches)and the weighs about 360 grams (12,7 ounces). Despite the constant activity inside the belly, the baby is gaining weight and requires more resources.
The 21st week of pregnancy has started, marking the beginning of the second half of the period of pregnancy and the sixth month, very quiet and convenient for women. The rate of growth is slowing down, the mother has enough energy and forces, and the belly still does not impede her daily life. The best time to enjoy this wonderful period of life! To memorise this time, you can keep a diary and take photos. Later, you will be grateful to yourself for keeping it. Make a list of urgent things to do and try to complete them as soon as possible; it will be harder to accomplish them when the baby grows bigger.
What is Happening With the Baby
The digestive system is developing the most actively. The baby is constantly swallowing the amniotic liquid, training the organs of the digestive tract and providing necessary substances for the growth. The taste and quality of this "food" e entirely depends on the woman, her lifestyle and diet.
If the mother is smoking and drinking alcohol, the baby will try them too. The baby gets water, sugar and other nutrients with the amniotic liquid. The baby’s tastes are forming now, so be careful about the quality of the food.
For the digestion of the first in his life food, the baby’s stomach secretes a small amount of hydrochloric acid and enzymes. The endocrine glands are functioning actively, starting with the 21st week the spleen starts functioning too. Day by day bones and muscles are growing and strengthening.
Despite the rapid growth, the baby has enough space for movements and coups. The baby’s bones are already strong enough to make the mother feel his hits. Over time these quickening becomes a kind of communication. The baby is able to react to sounds and touch, as well as feel the mom’s mood. Feel free to use this! Talk to your baby, name him/her by the name, if you have already chosen it, or create a term of endearment. Often the baby starts moving when you want to sleep, try to calm him down, caress him, talk to him or even sing him a lullaby.
The growing uterus presses the internal organs, and the woman experiences shortness of breath, sometimes so strong that it is literally impossible to breath. Breathing exercises will help to cope with this; they contribute to the saturation of tissues of both mother and baby with oxygen. The techniques of respiratory gymnastics will be absolutely necessary during the delivery. The bottom of the uterus is located at 1 cm (0.4 inch) above the navel or 21 cm (8.2 inches) up the pubic symphysis.
Belly at 21 Weeks Pregnancy
The belly speaks for itself: your pregnancy is now obvious. Sometimes you can even see the baby moving, showing his legs or butt or even moving from one side to another. The uterus continues to grow, providing the baby enough space for movements, so you can sometimes feel pain in the abdomen as the muscles are tensed.
21 Weeks Pregnant Belly Pictures
The pain associated with the growth of the uterus doesn’t threaten the woman’s health. You should be careful to detect an unusual labor-like or dragging, radiating to the back pain in the abdomen. Such pain can be associated with increased tone of the uterus.
In addition to uterine pain, the pregnant can feel pain in the feet, navel, waist and sacrum. They are associated with the growth of the uterus, which puts pressure on the sacrum, navel, and small pelvis organs. The spine gets more load as well as knee joints. Nighttime leg cramps in the calf are associated with the lack of calcium, as the baby takes it from the mother’s body.
You can ease this condition and relieve the pain if you:
- discard the heels in favor to flat shoes;
- make a pause while sitting and walk;
- ensure the correct posture;
- never sleep on your stomach or on your back;
- get up from a lying position correctly, first lowering the feet on the floor;
- learn to squat and bend, straddling and bending your knees to distribute the load evenly;
- sleep or rest elevating your legs with a pillow or a cushion;
- do not spend a lot of time on the feet, make breaks;
- don’t carry heavy things or distribute the load evenly to both hands;
- do not lift your arms over your head and do not stay in this position;
- consult your doctor about a maternity belt.
Another unpleasant surprise for the pregnant is insomnia. Firstly, it is difficult to find a comfortable position for sleep; secondly, you have to get up to the toilet once or more at night. The uterus presses the bladder, and you need to empty it more often than usual. If it gives you inconvenience, restrict the fluid intake after 6:00 pm, and while peeing bend your body forward.
A special pillow will help the pregnant to lie comfortably (it will be also of use while feeding the baby, and when the baby begins to sit). Also there is a growing feeling of heaviness in the abdomen and a shortness of breath. Your breasts are preparing for the upcoming baby feeding, they start producing first milk. Observe personal hygiene and do not try to squeeze the liquid out of the breasts.
Usually at the 21st week the pregnant take their second ultrasound scan. But even if you have already had more scans, don't worry about the possible negative impact on the baby’s health. Modern medical technologies minimise the harm of instrumental studies.
At this term, the doctor will be able to tell the sex of the baby, to assess the state of the major body systems, diagnose abnormalities or lack of them, listen to the heartbeat of the baby, track dimensions of the uterus and the fetus, placenta and amniotic fluid state, and give his conclusion on the pregnancy in general.
If you have had a 3d or 4d ultrasound, you can watch your baby, look at his face, and try to guess whom he will be like. You can ask your doctor to make for you the first photos of the unborn baby, which will mark the beginning of the baby’s life.
21 Weeks Ultrasound Pictures
21 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Gender
21 Weeks Ultrasound Boy:
21 Weeks Ultrasound Girl:
21 Weeks Ultrasound Twins
Normal vaginal discharge at the 21st week is transparent and liquid, odorless and leaving no traces on clothes. When you see a colored discharge, for example, greenish, or feel a bad smell, take a smear test. Often at this time the thrush appears, it should be treated before the baby’s birth. Bloodstains on underwear are a sign of hemorrhoids or severe constipation. If the blood is released from the vagina, immediately call for an ambulance.
Is it Possible to Have Sex?
The woman’s state of health at the 21st week make it possible to have sex, and positive emotions are beneficial for both mother and baby. If there is no threat of a miscarriage, make sex at your leisure, but try to avoid acrobatic positions, deep penetrations and rudeness. If you feel bad, choose a more favorable time for an intercourse.
Tests at 21 Weeks
This week you will receive the results of the screening tests. A special program assesses the data, bringing together all markers (HCG, unconjugated estriol, AFP). The woman's age, her weight and chronic diseases, heredity, number of pregnancies and their outcomes are also taken into account. The result is a number, assessing the risks of a congenital pathology. Threshold is 1:350, women with the same or smaller number have low risk levels. Incorrect conduct of screening tests put in doubt their results. If it is needed, your gynecologist may prescribe you other check up tests. You should visit your gynecologist once a month.
21 Weeks Pregnant: What You Really Need to Know
What to Eat and Why
Sticking to the principles of proper nutrition during the pregnancy contributes to bearing a healthy child.
Recommendations on the quality content of the diet:
- discard fried foods in favor of boiled and stewed;
- daily consume food rich in protein;
- control the amount of salt and sugar;
- minimize spicy and smoked products.
In case of heartburn, eat small and often. The occurrence of constipation and swelling directly reveals faults in the diet. Eat tasty and healthy, it gives your baby the taste for healthy food. If the doctor has prescribed you calcium in pills, be sure to follow his recommendations. Dairy products, especially in cottage cheese, are rich in calcium.
Weigh Particularities at 21 Weeks
As mentioned earlier, the accumulation of fat by the baby promotes the mother’s weight gain. Rational nutrition is very important at this period. It’s normal to gain about 300 grams (10 ounces) per week at this stage. A significant deviation from this number attests of overeating or, conversely, deficiency of nutrition. Total weight gain from the conception to this time is about 6.5 kg (14 pounds). Remember that this is an average value individual for every pregnant woman.
The greatest danger is calcium deficiency. The baby needs it to strengthen the bones, and the lack of calcium may cause problems with teeth, hair, leg cramping for the mother.
Recommendations for Women
Take steps to prevent the varicose veins. Do not wear heels. Use elastic bandages, if necessary. Rest at least 15 minutes a day, elevating your legs.
Eat right and feel free to ask questions to your doctor. If you feel an unusual pain, call an ambulance.
Pregnancy With Twins at 21 Weeks
Seven weeks before the maternity leave, you want to finish all up. You get ready for the babies’ birth: in baby stores you look for the clothes for both children. The belly is so big, you cannot bend, and you ask for help putting on shoes.
You often hear and feel the babies, because they are very mobile now. They can weigh up to 400 grams (14 ounces) each. The babies are so active due to the strengthening skeleton and response reflexes. As the nervous system is under formation at this period, their movements become more coordinated.
You can touch the girl's leg and practically all pregnant women can feel it shrinking. Another reflex: touch the cheek of the baby with your hand, and he will turn his mouth toward it. At that time the visual perception is also developing actively. They can’t see anything interesting, but they are able to distinguish some colors.