21 Weeks Pregnant - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips - Babylist

21 Weeks Pregnant

May 16, 2019

21 Weeks Pregnant

21 Weeks Pregnant
21 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is 10.5 inches long and now weighs a little over 12 ounces (about 3/4 of a pound). That’s about the size of a My Little Pony.

Your Baby at 21 Weeks

  • Baby size: How did your baby jump from 6.5 inches to 10.5 inches in one week? Baby’s growth isn’t that crazy—it’s just being measured differently now. This week, the measurement changes from butt to head (aka crown to rump) to head to toe (aka crown to heel). Your growing baby is finally starting to stretch out their legs, so they can be more accurately measured in ultrasounds.
  • Reproductive system: It may seem premature, but your baby is developing their ability to have babies. Pretty meta, huh? Males are developing their testes, while females are developing their ovaries and all of the eggs they will have in their life—about a million.
  • Eyelids: In other fetal development news, your baby’s eyelids are developing this week, but it’ll take a while longer before they nail a cute wink. 😉
  • Baby moving: This week, if you were to push on your belly, your baby would shimmy out of the way because their skin now responds to touch.

Stronger Fetal Movement

As your baby grows, you’ll feel them moving more and more. What starts to feel like a butterfly flutter around weeks 18 to 20 will develop into cute kicks and jabs—and then (brace yourself) full-on dancing on your bladder in the third trimester.

You might notice that baby isn’t always cooperative when it comes to when they move. Many pregnant women notice their baby is still while they’re up and walking around, and then when it’s time for mom to rest, baby moves around like crazy. Consider this prep for the future—newborns are on their very own schedules, and we’re the ones who need to adapt to them.

21 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

Photo by Tommy’s

💛 Congratulations 💛

There are 133 days until your due date.

Pregnancy Symptoms at 21 Weeks

  • Killer nails: Extra estrogen during pregnancy can make your hair and nails grow faster. Now’s the time to get that mani/pedi, mama. Your hair has longer growth stages, so you’ll be shedding less too.
  • Itchy skin: As your belly expands, you might start feeling dry and itchy. Avoid hot baths and try a cool oatmeal bath to help soothe the itch, or rub on some unscented lotion to feel better.
  • Heartburn and indigestion: All that expansion also puts extra pressure on your intestines and stomach, which can cause some unpleasant digestive symptoms. Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest caused by stomach acid going up into the esophagus. Indigestion can involve a range of symptoms, like abdominal pain, gas and other stomach discomforts, and you’re more prone to it now that hormones have relaxed your digestive tract.

Dealing with Digestive Issues While Pregnant

If pregnancy isn’t exactly agreeing with you or your stomach, there are some things you can do. If you’re getting heartburn or indigestion, avoid spicy and greasy foods. Eat at least an hour before lying down. And try to eat smaller meals—maybe five or six mini-meals instead of three big ones each day.

Most OTC antacids are OK to take during pregnancy, but check with your healthcare provider first to be safe. Some pregnant women find that eating yogurt, drinking milk or mixing a spoonful of honey into warm milk helps ease heartburn. If your heartburn or indigestion get really bad or don’t ease up no matter what you do, talk with your doctor.

Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Many pregnant women get varicose veins, which are raised blue or purple veins, usually on your legs. Oftentimes they are just cosmetic, but some can be itchy. They are caused by the extra progesterone in your body and exacerbated by swelling.

Varicose veins are usually harmless, but they certainly can be uncomfortable, and you may not love how they look. Thankfully, there are a few tricks for managing and preventing them, beyond exercising often (think regular walks) and putting your feet up to help your blood flow:

  • Keep moving. Change your seated or standing position often to keep the blood flowing.
  • Stop crossing your legs when you sit. This can be a hard habit to break for some, but crossing your legs can impede circulation.
  • Sleep on your left side. This takes pressure off a large vein called the vena cava. Sleeping on your left can also help blood and nutrients get to the placenta and your baby.
  • Keep an eye on your diet. Too much salt can swell veins.
  • Nix the high heels. Save the stilettos for special occasions. Your back will probably thank you too.
  • Wear maternity compression hosiery. Thankfully, some companies are now making cute versions of compression tights, leggings and socks. These can help improve circulation.

Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in the (yep) rectal area. They can rear their ugly heads during pregnancy because of the pressure of your uterus, as well as constipation. Constipation can be treated or avoided by eating a high-fiber diet and drinking lots of water (and maybe some prune juice too). If you do get hemorrhoids, witch hazel pads and baking soda baths are your friends.

What’s Going on With My Boobs?

They’re already prepping for baby. You might be surprised to find your breasts leaking while you’re pregnant. That liquid isn’t exactly breast milk. It’s colostrum—a thick, yellowish, nutrient-dense fluid that’ll be baby’s first food for a few days if you decide to breastfeed.

Your nipples might be darker too. Some people believe this is nature’s way of helping a newborn see when it comes time to feed. The color should go back to whatever your normal color was, but probably not until after pregnancy and breastfeeding (if you choose to) are things of the past.

Baby Essentials

Baby Essentials Photo

What does baby really need when you bring them home from the hospital?

Chances are everyone is telling you a different story about what’s a “must-have” for your new baby, whether it’s a wipes warmer or a sound machine. But each family—and baby—is different.

If you’re hoping to take a minimalist approach to baby rearing or simply want to start with the basics and see you and your family likes before you begin buying in bulk, you can start simple.

These are the 12 baby essentials you actually do need to make sure baby is safe, secure and happy during those precious first weeks.

Get our full recommendations here.

Fun Fact

Your baby can already taste what you’re eating!

Your 21 Weeks Pregnant Belly

At 21 weeks pregnant, weight gain should continue at around a pound per week. Your pregnant belly is getting rapidly bigger—now you may be able to feel the top of your uterus with your fingers about a half-inch above your belly button.

At your OB appointments now, they might start measuring your fundal height—the distance between the pubic bone and the top of your uterus. It helps keep tabs on baby’s growth and amniotic fluid level.

At 21 weeks, an ultrasound may be performed if you haven’t had an anatomy scan yet. This is an in-depth checkup to make sure fetal development and growth are going well.

Baby Bumps at 21 Weeks









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Week 21 Pregnancy Checklist

  • Pick a carrier.
  • Finalize your baby shower guest list and send it to your host.
  • Celebrate that you are more than halfway done. You’ve got this!
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