Can you believe you’re almost halfway through your pregnancy? Your life seems to be a flurry of activities with everyone around you diving into baby name suggestions, giving you and serving up all kinds of healthy dishes for your and baby’s health! While you’re wrapped in all of these things, we’re sure you’re curious to know all about pregnancy and your baby’s development in week 21. So, without any further delay, let’s dive right into it!
Week 21 of pregnancy is a mixed bag of sorts – with periods of comfort and as well as some nagging symptoms.
Do you feel hungry ALL THE TIME, irrespective of whether you’ve just eaten a filling meal? A sudden spike in appetite is one prominent symptom many pregnant women experience.
As your uterus continues to grow, your bladder and intestines are likely to undergo more and more pressure. This means multiple things such as – frequent urges to pee, acidity, gas and bloating. Constipation is yet another symptom you’re going to continue to experience in this week.
Your milk ducts will be fully developed by the end of this week; ready to supply food to the baby once it has arrived. As a result of this, you will experience leaky breasts, especially when you’re stressed or feeling emotional.
Although your due date is still far away, your uterus is already practicing for labour. So, you will notice a certain tightness and contractions in the uterine area. These subside on their own and are nothing to worry about. However, if the contractions don’t stop or are painful, let your gynaecologist know immediately.
Since the skin is constantly stretching to accommodate the growing baby, it feels especially dry and itchy. If this develops into rashes, get it checked by your doctor.
If you’ve been experiencing swollen ankles and varicose veins over the past few weeks, they’re likely to continue throughout the pregnancy due to the increase in weight and blood flow. Don’t worry – they’ll subside .
Many women also notice that their navel (belly button) has suddenly popped out. This is because the uterus is pushing against your abdomen, forcing the navel to push outwards. It’s normal, and will go back in once the baby is born.
Sex drive is a bit of a rollercoaster ride for most women during this time. Some women feel like they want to have sex all the time, due to the increased blood flow to the pelvic region and heightened sensitivity to stimulation, whereas some women don’t feel like having sex at all because they’re exhausted and feel too uncomfortable due to the physical changes. Either way, it’s completely normal – so don’t worry about this dramatic shift in your sex drive!
Your baby has grown up to 10 and a half inches in length approximately, and weighs around 350 grams.
The most amazing development happening in this week is that your baby now responds to touch. If you apply just enough pressure on your belly, it will move away or push back! From this point onwards, your baby is growing at a fast rate and is steadily gaining weight.
You’re constantly experiencing fluttering sensations in your belly, thanks to your baby’s movements. Its eyebrows and eyelids have fully formed. Although the baby is still relying on the placenta for its nourishment, it’s ingesting the amniotic fluid practice swallowing techniques and digestion. It can also properly taste what you’re eating and what’s entering the amniotic fluid.
The brain to muscle coordination have developed well by now, which means that the baby is now practicing more controlled somersaults, swimming, kicking and floating movements.
For your constant hunger pangs, make sure you have some protein and fibre rich snacks close at hand. Munch on dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, raisins and apricots, carrots and cucumbers, multigrain crackers and so on. Fibre rich foods such as oatmeal, whole grain bread, avocado, broccoli, etc. will also ease up your constipation. Avoid spicy and greasy foods, as it will make your heartburn even worse. For the best course of action, follow your obstetrician’s dietary orders.
Invest in an organic, pregnancy-safe body lotion to soothe your dry and itchy skin. If you have particularly sensitive skin or are experiencing rashes, ask your doctor for a recommendation.
Regular exercise and stretching will ease those swollen ankles and varicose veins, and improve blood supply. Continue exercising as much as you can under the supervision of a qualified instructor, as it is important for you to build muscle strength.
It’s alright to have sex around this time of the pregnancy! Things may appear tricky, considering your moodiness and physical discomfort. Just go with the flow, and don’t stress to much about it. It is more important that you maintain a clear line of communication with your partner about how you’re feeling, what’s worrying you and how you want to go about with sex. Even if sex is off the list, make sure you both make time for regular foreplay at least.
Wondering if you should start talking to your little human? Go right ahead! Studies suggest that babies who have heard their mother’s voice while in the uterus, can easily recognise it after they’re born, helping form a stronger connection!
This is a good time to join antenatal or motherhood classes. Not only will you learn a lot of important tips and techniques to care for your baby, but also get to form friendships with other moms!
Get all the rest that you can. As long as your doctor has deemed you and the baby healthy, you have nothing to worry about! So relax, and enjoy! And if you have any questions, ask us in the comments.