21 Weeks Pregnant: Fetal Development, Maternal Changes & More

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

At 21st week of pregnancy, the baby is about the size of the placenta, and the mother is starting to experience some fetal hiccups. This article provides an overview on the fetal development, maternal changes, signs and symptoms and some interesting facts about the 21st week of pregnancy.

Did you know that pregnant mothers can suffer a very weird health condition known as pica, wherein mothers inedible foods such as clay and hair?

Height of the baby: 10.51 inches
Weight of the baby: 12.70 ounces

What Happens to the Baby?

Week 21 Fetus

The baby at 21st week of pregnancy grows steadily yet slowly. The fats continue to form to keep the baby warm. The digestive system is also developing wherein intestines begin to contract and relax involuntarily. Fetal blood circulation is completely functional. The umbilical cord starts to grow in length and thicken. During this period, baby’s eyelids and eyebrows are fully developed while the baby’sfingers still cover the fingernails and toenails. Furthermore, the baby is swallowing amniotic fluid and is buoyantly playing around it.

What Happens to Your Body?

Body Changes in 21 Week Pregnancy

The uterus is climbing above the belly button which now weighs between 5 and 6.3 kilograms. The abdomen of the mother begins to pop out, thus pregnancy is becoming outwardly obvious. Mothers may also begin experiencing fetal hiccups with rhythmic movements caused by contracting diaphragms of fetus. Mothers no need to worry about fetal hiccups since they are expected during this period. Meanwhile, not all mothers feel the kicking of movements by their babies at 21st week. Women who are obese and have placental problems may feel these movements until later in the pregnancy.

21 Weeks Pregnant

Special Reminders for Pregnant Mothers @ 21st Weeks of Pregnancy

Special Reminders for Pregnant Mothers

Pregnant mothers at 21st week of pregnancy are feeling better now except for they may start experiencing occasional leg cramps and varicose veins are becoming visible. These are normal occurrences during pregnancy as the baby is getting some minerals from the maternal circulation including calcium, and the increasing* progesterone level which explains the appearance of varicose and spider veins. To minimize leg cramps, consider taking calcium supplements up to 1300 milligrams daily. Food sources of calcium include dairy milk, soy milk, cheese, kale and yogurt. Leg cramps can also be managed naturally by elevating the leg by a pillow and wearing anti-embolic stockings.

Furthermore, fainting episodes may occur more often compared to previous weeks. To make mothers feel better, they must wear loose clothes and avoid using heels. In addition to that, keep rooms well-ventilated and make sure they breathe in fresh air. Unfortunately, mothers may be noticing breakouts. This is caused by increased oil production and goes away after the delivery of the baby. Steer clear from trying several beauty products since they can only worsen the problem. Washing face with gentle soap and warm water twice a day is enough.

Additional Information: Is Craving for Sex Normal for Women During Pregnancy?

Several pregnant mothers have stronger sexual desire in the middle of pregnancy. Many mothers would ask if this feeling is somewhat normal. According to health experts, it is the surging hormones during pregnancy that make the sexual desire of women skyrocket. They explained that the increasing* blood flow to the pelvic region plus the heightened sensitivity of pregnant mothers make this possible. However, this is opposite to mothers who are experiencing discomforts and aches.

Not all women experience increased libido during pregnancy. If you don’t feel good about having sex, verbalize what you feel to your husband and reassure your love to him. Remember to keep the lines of communication open. With regard to sex positions, there are no bests and worsts. Partners can experiment and can try whichever make them comfortable. However, the spooning or side-by-side is the most favorite position. Nevertheless, certain conditions where partners should abstain from sex include placenta previa, vaginal bleeding, premature delivery, bag of water has broken and dilated cervix.

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Author

Expert Author : Peony C Echavez (Consumer Health Digest)

Peony is a registered nurse, and former Director of Nursing services for a
large nursing facility. She has written web content for a large health education website, and currently creates content for a number of health
practisioners.