21 weeks pregnant means you are over half way there! Read CaptainMums easy to follow guidelines of what to expect from your pregnancy; week 21.
21 weeks pregnant: Your baby
At 21 weeks pregnant, your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long. He will soon begin full kicks and nudges to your tummy, far more than the light movements you can feel now. Your baby is beginning to develop small features on his face like eyelids and eyebrows, and amazingly will already have taste buds and will taste different flavours depending on what you’re eating.
At 21 weeks pregnant, your baby can hear you from the womb, and talking to them now will help them to recognise your voice once they are born. Some parents like to read story books or sing nursery rhymes to their bumps, or play them certain music. Sometimes music might make your baby more excited and very active!
Your partner might try talking to your bump too – it's a lovely way to bond with your little one before the birth.
21 weeks pregnant: Your health
Being 21 weeks pregnant you may be feeling generally well: you're not too big yet, and the usual trials associated with early pregnancy are gone. However, it's also normal to experience the following complaints at around 21 weeks pregnant:
- Varicose veins; due to increased weight and pressure on your legs.
- Acne; this is due to hormonal changes. This will go with time, but remember you cannot take any acne medications during pregnancy as this may harm your baby.
- Spider veins may appear on your body or face. These are very thin lines similar to veins, but they usually disappear after you give birth.
21 weeks pregnant: Antenatal Care
You might book your antenatal classes now, as a way to prepare you for the birth. Your midwife will have information about free local groups, and you can get details about other classes near to you online.
Classes are a great way to make friends and share experiences. And of course, lots of babies for your little one to play with eventually.
You'll also learn about pain relief, breathing techniques and your options in delivery at your classes. If you go to a NHS class, you will probably also have a tour of the delivery suite at your hospital.
Worries or questions between antenatal visits
You can always phone to make an earlier appointment if you have any worries or doubts. If need be go in person to see your midwife or doctor. Check to see if your surgery or clinic runs a helpline. This is the case in many areas throughout the UK and you can call with a minor query without having to make a visit.
If you have had medical problems in the past or one which occurs later in your pregnancy you may be transferred to an obstetrician. From then onwards it might be necessary to go more regular than most mums-to-be as your doctor will want to give you regular check-ups. Also, you could be having your anomaly scan if for any reason didn't have it before (although it is highly recommended doing it at 20 weeks pregnant, tops).
21 weeks pregnant: What to expect next
It's important for your bump to be measured regularly. This will start from 24 weeks pregnant and is usually carried out by your midwife. The size of your bump will correspond to the number of weeks pregnant you are, though this will vary slightly by around 2-3cm. Taking this measurement allows your caregiver to monitor how your baby is growing and developing. In the case that your baby isn't growing normally, it's usual to be referred to hospital for more checks.
To sum up, being 21 weeks pregnant, you're half way there! Keep taking care of yourself, because that way, you're taking care of your little one as well!