21 Weeks Pregnant
What Happens During the 21st Week of Pregnancy?
During this time of pregnancy, numerous changes are happening to you and your little one. You might notice sudden movements in your belly, and there would be changes in your body. Here, we will look into the hormonal and bodily changes happening to you. We will also consider the developments taking place in your little one.
Hormonal Changes or Other Symptoms
When you are in the 21st week of pregnancy, you will notice an increase in your appetite. The reason behind this is that your little one would require nutrients for its development. Even then, you have to ensure that you maintain a balanced diet. Other than that, different hormones in your body would make your skin oily, which would result in acne. Here, hormones can also result in mood swings, morning sickness, and related issues. However, it might not be the case for everyone as each person is unique in their ways.
Bloating and gas can occur because of the increase in pressure from the uterus on the rectum. Besides, there is an increase in the progesterone level, which would lead to constipation for most women during pregnancy. Another concern due to hormonal changes is bleeding gums. Due to this, your mouth might be vulnerable to bacteria and plaque.
Since your baby is growing with every passing day, you would notice back pain as a concern. It is because your muscles would be straining, and the hormone relaxin also has a role to play. Relaxin would loosen the joints to prepare you for stretching during birth. These are the main changes due to your hormones and act as pregnancy symptoms in the 21st week. If you find any complications or concerns, don't hesitate to speak with your doctor for expert advice/opinion.
During this time of pregnancy, your baby bump will be noticeable, and switching to maternity or loose clothes will be comfy for you. Your uterus would be around 21 cm at this time from top to bottom. There would be stretch marks appearing as your belly skin would find it challenging to keep track of the growth. Here, you can have stretch marks of different colors, and studies show that one in two women get stretch marks during pregnancy. Besides, anxiety can be an issue that you might face while you are in the second trimester.
Here, you have to take care of yourself, especially while sleeping. It is because you might find it challenging to get to a comfortable sleeping position. Other than that, you might notice itchiness around your belly, which can also affect your sleep quality. Because of the presence of itchiness, it might lead to rashes, which you can reduce by using a moisturizer.
Unlike the previous months, there will be an increase in the intensity of your baby's kicks. Some women during this time have Braxton Hicks Contraction. It is a way by which your body prepares you for labor as they are false contractions. Even though you don't have to be concerned, you can always speak with your doctor if necessary. It can happen when you exercise more than usual, or you change your sleeping position. During this time, you might also have Urinary Tract Infection, which occurs due to an increase in your body weight. Other than that, varicose veins can appear in your legs. It is because of the uterus and the compression of the veins. You can reduce the chances of getting varicose veins if you exercise regularly.
Since there is an increase in libido, blood flow, and sensitivity, you might notice a rise in your sex drives. However, you have to take necessary precautions to avoid STIs. However, if there are any complications in your pregnancy, it is best to avoid sex.
Your bundle of joy will be around ten and a half inches long during this time of pregnancy. Besides, your baby will weigh 340 grams and is in the growing stage. Your little one's limbs will grow, and it will be possible to distinguish between fingers and toes as well. Other than that, your baby's liver and spleen will also be functional and produce blood cells. The bone marrow will also be providing the necessary help during this time. Here, the cartilage tissues will get hard, making the way to form bones and neurons.
Another significant development happening during this time is the taste buds. Here, your little one will be receiving nourishments from the amniotic fluid as it will swallow it from time to time. Hence, if you have healthy food items or include vegies like broccoli, there is a high chance that your child will love them later on too. Apart from hydration, your baby would have amniotic fluid for hydration.
Since there is enough space in the belly, your little one will be moving around. Your baby will even do somersaults in the belly. When it comes to girls, the vagina will get formed, but the development continues. These are the major changes happening during this time of pregnancy in your little one.
Tips to Take Care of Yourself During the 21st Week
Here are some tips that can help you take care of yourself during the 21st week of pregnancy.
Have a Healthy Diet
Similar to the previous weeks, you have to maintain a healthy diet. Here, you have to ensure that you have plenty of water and fiber content in your diet. Through this, you can reduce the chances of having constipation-related concerns.
Hence, it is best to have nutritious food items, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Since your aim is not to lose weight during this period, you have to eat healthily. It is best to work on slow and steady weight gain. Baked potatoes and fresh fruits can furnish you with these results.
Besides, it is essential to avoid having takeaway pizzas, fish and chips, and similar food items. However, you can always have homemade alternatives for the same. During this time, you need to have food for yourself. It is not necessary to take in extra calories till you reach your third trimester.
Take Part in Physical Activities with Care
Since it is a vulnerable time, you have to be careful with the physical activities you take part in. However, it doesn't mean that you have to stay ideal. Here, you can try out simple and light exercises like walking, yoga, and pilates. You can also join a birthing class during this time of pregnancy. When you go on walks, try to do it for at least 30 minutes a day. You can divide them into three sessions of ten minutes each.
Pelvic floor exercises can be helpful as they can prevent leakage. You can also join antenatal classes to enhance your physical well-being.
When it comes to sex, it is perfectly alright to take part in it. However, if you have any complications, you can avoid sex while pregnant.
Take Care of Yourself
During the 21st week of pregnancy, you have to ensure that you take care of yourself. Here, you might have a foggy brain due to the changes happening in you. Sometimes you might sense forgetfulness. Hence, it is best to create a to-do list and work accordingly.
Besides, you have to take care of your mental health as well. If you require help, you should not hesitate to ask your loved ones. When it comes to pampering yourself, it is best to avoid laser when it comes to hair removal. If you find it necessary, you can opt for shaving or waxing if you are not sensitive.
Speak with Your Doctor
In case you spot bleeding from your vagina, you have to speak with your doctor. Your doctor would run tests to ensure that there is no infection. For some of you, it would lead to a Rubella infection. Hence, taking necessary measures on time can be helpful. Due to this, you might have a fever or mild cold. Other than that, if you have abdominal pain or cramp, it is best to seek your doctor's advice.