As you enter into the second half of your pregnancy journey, you will be greeted by a period of rapid growth and many changes happening in a short period.
The first trimester moved pretty slowly, but the second trimester will take you by a storm through many symptoms and changes.
Inside your belly, your baby is getting ready for life outside the womb by developing essential skills, including breathing, sucking, and controlling limb movements.
Here is what you can expect at twenty-one weeks pregnant.
Physical Symptoms During The Twenty-First Pregnancy Week
You can expect the typical second-trimester pregnancy symptoms to continue during your twenty-first week of pregnancy, such as nasal congestion, heartburn, and food cravings, that mainly happen due to pregnancy hormones.
On top of those, some new symptoms might show up during week twenty-one of your pregnancy, including:
Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition characterized by inflamed gums that bleed when brushed or flossed, and more than half of pregnant women experience this symptom during their pregnancy.
Unless you have serious gum disease, which has been linked to some complications and infections, pregnancy gingivitis is not likely to harm your baby or otherwise negatively affect your pregnancy.
However, that does not mean that you should put aside your dental and oral hygiene; during pregnancy, it is extra vital to have regular dental checkups and cleanings.
By week twenty-one of your pregnancy, you are likely to feel a bit off balance or clumsy due to your belly growing and your center of gravity changing.
At this point of your pregnancy, pressure and physical trauma to your abdomen could be dangerous for you and your baby, so avoid situations with a high risk of falling.
Walk slowly and carefully, wear low heels, and avoid risky tasks.
As the pregnancy progresses, you will probably start noticing some varicose veins.
As the baby grows, the weight of your baby and your growing uterus puts increasing pressure on the veins in your legs, which makes the varicose veins more prominent and visible. These swollen veins look a lot like stretch marks, but they are not stretch marks!
You can minimize the appearance of varicose veins by exercising daily, elevating your feet to heart level or higher, and avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Rapid weight gain
You are probably gaining about a pound a week at this point in pregnancy, and that is completely normal and very much expected in women with normal pre-pregnancy body mass index!
Gaining about a pound per two weeks in overweight women and a pound per month in obese women is expected. Make sure to buy some loose-fitting clothes that fit you comfortably.
Sticking to an overall healthy diet full of fiber-rich foods and fresh fruit and drinking plenty of water will make you feel full but still energized in the coming weeks.
What Happens to The Baby During Week Twenty-One of Pregnancy?
At the twenty-first pregnancy week mark, your baby measures 10.8 inches long and the baby weighs about 14.07 ounces, which is about the size of a carrot or five pitta breads. The baby’s development is going pretty nicely at this point in your pregnancy.
During the twenty-first week of your pregnancy, your baby is now heavier than the placenta, which has the purpose of providing oxygen and food, and removing waste. However, the placenta will continue to follow the baby’s growth and do its vital work.
At this point of the baby’s development, the baby can hear noises and voices outside the womb, which means that you can talk and sing to it. The baby is also moving more inside of your uterus, preparing for the outside world, and you can probably feel these fetal movements.
Pregnancy Checklist During Week Twenty Twenty-One
Some essential items you need to check off your pregnancy to-do list during the week twenty-one to prepare for the baby’s arrival will include:
Consider hiring a doula
A doula is a trained birth and labor assistant, and if you decide to hire one, she can support and advise you during your baby’s birth.
If you think hiring a doula is a good option for you and your needs, now is the perfect time to start interviewing candidates soon.
For expecting moms that still want to stay active, swimming is going to be a godsend.
Swimming is gentle on your body and a low-impact exercise that can help ease pregnancy aches and pains caused by the weight of the growing baby and the growing uterus.
As your belly gets bigger, it will feel nice to float and not worry about all that extra burden. It can also be helpful if you are experiencing leg cramps and swollen feet. You will love swimming once you enter your third trimester.
If you visit public swimming pool check for the quality test results of the pool water and avoid crowded swimming pools.
Check your rings
Experiencing some pregnancy-related swelling in your fingers is normal, and the majority of pregnant women experience this pregnancy symptom during their pregnancy run.
If you like wearing rings on your fingers, it is best to take them off now before they get stuck and create an issue.
You can wear the most important ring, such as your wedding ring, on the chain around your neck.
Review your finances
Having a baby will change many things, and one of those will be your family budget and other financial plans.
Taking the time to look over your budget in preparation for the baby will help you feel more secure and lower your stress levels.
Considering the big financial questions regarding insurance, taxes, wills, and childcare is not a fun task, but it has to be done, and it will save you a lot of stress to do it sooner than later.
Create your baby registry
The twenty-first week of pregnancy is the perfect time to start creating your baby registry if you have done that by now.
Once the baby comes, you will need a lot of baby products, and having your friends and family help you out with getting everything will be a life-saver.
What To Avoid or Begin to Avoid?
It is essential to stay away from harmful things and activities to protect you and the baby inside of you during your pregnancy.
During week twenty-one, make sure to stay away from:
- Smoking, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and being exposed to toxic substances.
- Sleeping on your tummy.
- Performing demanding workouts and carrying heavyweight.
- Touching kitty litter or cat feces.
- Drinking an excessive amount of caffeine and carbonated drinks.
- Getting tattooed as it poses a risk of infection.
- Eating junk food, deli meats, raw or undercooked meat, eggs, cheeses from unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized dairy foods, high mercury fish, and unwashed fruits and vegetables.
- Having close contact with anyone with rubella, chickenpox, or the Zika virus.