Pregnancy Week By Week : 21 Weeks Pregnant - What To Expect
Hopefully, you are feeling wonderful at 21 weeks of your pregnancy. Things are sailing smoothly for you and your baby. Both of you have beco...
Development of taste buds
Has an elderly woman in your home advised you to avoid spicy food? If yes, it is probably because she knows that your little one has started developing its taste buds and will be able to taste whatever you eat. By week 21, your baby ingests tiny amounts of amniotic fluid. This provides it with hydration and essential nutrition. The fluid also helps the little one to get used to swallowing, a skill that will help it to consume mother's milk or bottle milk after birth. The taste of the amniotic fluid is dependent upon your choice of foods. And your baby will taste similar things that you eat. And a hot chilly may not work well with its developing taste buds.
Control of limb movements
By week 21 of your pregnancy, your baby's legs and arms are in proportion. There is a well-connected network of nerves sending and receiving messages from the brain to the muscles and vice-versa. The cartilages are developing into bones and ossification is also taking place making the bones harder and stronger. These developments help your baby gain more control over its movements.
Sleeping is the main activity
Although your baby is in control of its movements and can stretch, kick, punch, suck, and swallow inside the womb, what it does most of the day is sleep. Almost 20 to 22 hours of the day is spent sleeping and conserving energy. Sleep helps your baby to grow (just like it does during the first 2-3 months of its birth).
Size of your baby
Your tiny little bundle is now comparable to a large carrot or a water bottle. The increase in weight is just a little than last week. It has probably gained an ounce and a half and weighs about 12 and a half ounces this week. It has grown in length and is now 10 inches long.
Body Changes & Common Symptoms
Expanding waistline and more: With a growing baby inside you, your womb is also getting bigger to make sure that your baby has enough space to move around. This is causing an expansion in your waistline. You will also have an increased appetite now and while you satiate your cravings and need for nutritious food, you will notice some pounds added to your face, arms, thighs, and buttocks. There is nothing to feel worried about. Once you give birth and begin to breastfeed your bundle of joy, the weight will begin to shed. But try not to put on too much very quickly. A gradual weight gain is totally fine.
Vividly hued stretch marks: Have you noticed bright pink, purple or red marks on your tummy, hips, and breasts? These deeply colored stretch marks occur in about half of all the pregnant women. As your body becomes bigger and expands, the skin on the areas mentioned above begins to stretch. The stretching of the skin tears the tissues below the skin causing the hued stretch marks.
Pangs of anxiety: By the 21st week of your pregnancy there is absolutely no looking back. This is the time when you may have an anxiety attack about the changes in your life and how you will have to sacrifice a lot of your carefree ways to take care of your little one. Mixed with the excitement of ushering a new life into this world, there is also the fear and apprehension of how your life will turn out once the baby is born. If you feel this rush and get restless about it, speak to your spouse about your worries. You can also consult your doctor and get some professional guidance and counseling.
Unhealthy cravings: You may have never smoked in your life but may experience a strong desire to inhale cigarette smoke all of a sudden. By the middle of the second trimester, a lot of women crave strange and unhealthy things such as chalk, charcoal, cigarette ashes, and alcohol. You cannot give in to such unhealthy cravings and need to exercise self-control. In case the urge gets out of hand, consult your doctor for a fruitful resolution and remedy.
- Wear loose comfortable clothes: As you get bigger, your old clothes may cause discomfort. Make sure you wear light loose clothes to avoid feeling suffocated. You may feel dizzy if you are in tight clothes especially in the hot weather. As you may already know, your blood pressure drops during this time of your pregnancy and if you are sweating profusely and find it difficult to breathe, it may lead to consequences such as fainting.
- Wear flats and avoid high heels: There is already a considerable amount of pressure on your back. The muscles of your legs also take a share of the load, thanks to your added pounds and growing womb. Wearing pointy stilettoes and high heels can further exert pressure on your back resulting in horrible backaches. Also, the chances of tripping and falling in heels are higher than in flats. Therefore is it advisable to substitute your stylish heels with quality flat footwear.
- Yoga, walking, and swimming: Now is a good time to let go of the gym and other workout equipment such as weights and treadmills and focus on more natural forms of exercises. Activities such as walking and swimming are not only good for your body now, but they are also low-risk exercises. There is a higher chance of accidents with gym equipment than with workouts such as yoga and walking. They are effective yet comparatively safer than other forms of weight management.
Enjoy your days now and try to get plenty of sleep. Your increased weight should not be a cause of worry. It will all go once your take on one of the most important responsibilities of your life – raising your newborn.
Image Source: 1, 2