This is the first week of the second half of your pregnancy, but what exactly is going on with your baby and your body this week?
Your Body at 21 Weeks Pregnant
Your uterus extends half an inch above the bellybutton, and is somewhere between 8 and 8.5 inches from the pubic bone. By this week, it may become obvious, even to strangers, that you are expecting! You’re still small enough at this point that your belly shouldn’t hinder your freedom of movement much, if any.
Most women are feeling at their best in their 21st week of pregnancy. This is the time to get projects done, before you begin to feel sluggish and fatigued like so many women find themselves in the late stages of pregnancy.
You may begin to have backaches and other aches and pains. You may help alleviate these aches by using correct posture when sitting and standing, as well as stretching before changing positions. Making sure you’re getting a healthy amount of exercise and activity may help these aches and pains as well. But don’t just jump into an exercise routine, talk to your caregiver about what a good amount of exercise for your situation would be.
You might notice you’re having issues with acne and breakouts, even if you haven’t had a breakout since your high school days. Even though these breakouts can be unsightly, don’t jump on acne medications, oral or topical. Many acne medications can be dangerous for an unborn baby and you should discuss the use of these medications with your caregiver to ensure the product you are using is safe for your baby!
Your veins may become more apparent at this stage of pregnancy. The increased visibility of your veins may be due to the increased blood volume in a woman’s body during pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases by up to 50%!
Your Baby at 21 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby now weighs around 10 ounces and measures just slightly over 7 inches long! Your baby is now the size of a small to average sized banana!
Your baby has begun to have rapid eye movements; a critical part of the sleep process.
Although your baby’s digestive system is not mature, it is functioning during the 21st week. The intestines are capable of contracting and relaxing, something your little one will need a lot once they are born and begin to experience the joys of food!
If you are noticing small, sudden and repeated movements from your baby that last less than a second each, your baby may be experiencing hiccups! Hiccups are common in babies prior to birth, but not every baby experiences it and not every mother notices it! If you notice it often, it’s not a reason to worry and alternatively, if you don’t notice any hiccups at all, it’s also not a reason to worry!
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