At week 21, you are into the sixth month of pregnancy. The baby’s kicking and stretching movements become more predominant as it gets pumped up for life outside the womb.
The baby develops its essential skills of sucking, swallowing, and breathing, and for the to-be-mommies, the baby bump tries to stretch, forming red, blue, purple, and pink stretch marks on the expanding belly.
This article deep dives into the development and growth of the baby, mom-to-be pregnancy symptoms, and things you will need to take care of at week 21 of pregnancy.
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Baby’s development @ week 21 of pregnancy
At week 21 of pregnancy, the baby is nearly 26.7cms long from head to toe and weighs around 340 gms. While the baby develops his taste buds, it can eat food and suck tiny amounts of amniotic fluid. The other development of the fetus seen at week 21 include:
The developing taste buds
The taste buds develop on the tongue. And so, the baby can taste bits of everything the mother eats. It also swallows tiny amounts of amniotic fluid for nutrition and hydration while practicing swallowing and digestion skills in the womb.
The arms and legs are getting in proportion. The fetal brain, muscles, and cartilage are beginning to interconnect through the nerves and neurons. The little unborn is moving and can control its movements- twisting, turning, kicking, and the magnificent summersault. The expecting mother can also feel and see the baby’s movements as the belly simultaneously moves.
Mom-to-be @ week 21 of pregnancy
It is week 21, and it is the time for your expanding tummy and baby to leave marks of pink, purple, blue, or red color. However, rapid weight gain during pregnancy can aid you in getting these marks. The pregnancy symptoms observed this week by pregnant mothers are:
- Increased tiredness or fatigue
- Noticeable fetal movements
- Abdominal bloating and gas with the increasing belly exerting pressure on the stomach, sometimes causing constipation.
- Bleeding gums
- Back and leg aches- As the center of gravity shifts, the ligaments and joints stretch, more pressure on the back, causing severe back pain and leg aches.
- Fast-growing nails– The pregnancy hormones cause increased blood circulation that brings extra nutrition and growth to the nails and hair
Things to consider at week 21 of pregnancy
Week 21 marks the beginning of the second half of your 40-week pregnancy. The expanding pregnancy belly may require anti-stretch marks cream and moisturizers to keep away the itchiness and dryness of the pregnancy-stretched skin. These marks usually fade post-pregnancy term. You may also need to consider the following things at week 21 of pregnancy.
- Nasal infections and stuffy noses are most common and prolonged till the end of pregnancy, thanks to the seasonal flu. Try to clear your nasal passages often and connect with your doctor to get treated for infections (if any).
- The fluid accumulation in the lower half of the body will cause swelling of the legs and ankles. Keep your feet in an elevated position while relaxing to prevent fluid accumulation in the legs.
- Check your body weight, ensure healthy pregnancy weight, follow healthy eating habits and concentrate on gaining weight slowly and steadily.
- Exercise is a must. Light exercises and brisk walking for at least thirty minutes a day can stimulate the smooth digestion process and bowel movement.
- Fiber-rich foods with plenty of water/fluid intake can help fight constipation issues during pregnancy.
- It is recommended to avoid laser hair removal and skin lightening procedures until delivery.
- Brain fog, a common symptom during pregnancy, can cause cognitive impairment such as concentration issues and forgetfulness. Making your to-do list regularly and updating your notes and calendar can help manage temporary cognitive changes.
At week 21 of pregnancy, the baby’s movements have gained coordination because of the neurons connecting between the muscles, brain, and cartilage. With swallowing and sucking movements, the baby can now taste the foods the mother eats by gulping small amounts of amniotic fluid.
However, the expecting moms will have their stretching tummy leaving marks that will fade post-pregnancy. Hydrating and moisturizing creams can help prevent dryness and itching in the stretching belly. For further queries on pregnancy and tips, connect with your doctor.
Overview | NHS