Learning more about the changes you experience at 21 weeks pregnant…
Pregnancy is a great experience for both pregnant couples and their child. At 21 weeks pregnant, you might want to start going to antenatal classes. There are a lot of antenatal classes that you can attend. You can simply ask your midwife or health care provider about any local groups in your area.
You can get support from members of antenatal classes. With a support group, you can share experiences with other pregnant women. Aside from gaining friends, you will also learn about breathing techniques, pain relief during labor, and delivery options.
Body changes you experience at 21 weeks pregnant
At 21 weeks, your baby will start to leave marks on your body. This mark comes in the form of stretch marks, which will appear all over the abdomen, hips, breasts, thighs, and breasts. These streaks occur as the body expands and your abdomen and breasts keep growing. The supporting tissues under the skin on these parts of your body stretches and gets torn.
If your mother had stretch marks, you will likely get them as well. Those women with darker skin are less likely to develop stretch marks. However, for fair and light skinned pregnant women, stretch marks tend to become more visible. Despite of your skin type, you will still get stretch marks if you experience rapid weight gain. Thus, it is important to gain your pregnancy weight slowly and steadily. The good thing is that these stretch marks fade and become less noticeable after delivery.
At 21 weeks pregnant, there are several pregnancy symptoms that you may feel.
- Fetal Movement. At this stage, you will already feel that your baby is turning and kicking inside your womb. You should enjoy these gentle taps as they will get more aggressive soon as your baby grows and develops.
- Increased Appetite. This is the time when you will have an increased appetite. It is ideal that you carry with healthy snacks like fruits, granola bars, and nuts. This way, you are getting nutritious foods whenever you feel hungry.
- Gas and Bloating. Since the uterus places increased pressure on the rectum, this means that you will likely have a hard time containing your gas. Moreover, you will also likely to become constipated. Thus, it is advisable to eat fiber rich foods and drink plenty of water.
- Varicose Veins. Since you are gaining extra blood volume and additional weight, your circulatory system is pressured, which results to the appearance of varicose veins. A good way to avoid varicose veins is to ensure that your weight gain to a healthy minimum.
- Backaches. During pregnancy, your body produces more relaxin that causes the ligaments and joints in your body to loosen and stretch. This contributes to the aching of your back. For relief, you have to make sure that you position yourself comfortably all the time.
- Bleeding Gums. Bleeding gums are common at 21 weeks. If you experience this symptom, you should avoid eating candies and anything sweet, as these foods can increase bacterial growth in the mouth and further irritate the gums.
- Fast Growing Nails. Pregnancy hormones and the increased circulation in the body cause fast growing nails. The increased circulation in the body brings extra nutrients to the nails and hair.
Since you are starting to look pregnant and you are already feeling your baby kick, the reality of the pregnancy will now start to sink in. In line with this, you will likely feel anxious about admitting and accepting the pregnancy and the changes that goes with it. It is completely normal to feel anxious during this time and it is also healthy to start accepting and acknowledging it. You should talk to your friends and family about your feelings. You should also discuss your fears with your partner.
Your baby’s development at 21 weeks pregnant
At 21 weeks pregnant, your baby will already measure around 27 cm in height and around 360 grams in weight. However, the measurements will vary from one baby to another. Your baby’s eyelids and eyebrows will now form. In fact, it is possible that they can already blink. Your baby’s taste buds will already form and determine a variety of flavors depending on what you are eating.
During this time, your baby is covered with a white waxy material known as vernix caseosa. This covering protects the baby from effects of swimming around the amniotic fluid for a long time. In fact, you will most probably see some parts of your baby covered with this waxy substance when they are born.
How your life is changing
At 21 weeks pregnant, you will feel pretty comfortable compared to the first three months of your pregnancy. You are not yet too big and the discomforts of the first trimester have disappeared. This is a great time to enjoy the moment while you can, as the third trimester will bring about new set of pregnancy complaints.
Despite feeling overall relieved from the symptoms of the first trimester, there are some minor issues that you will likely deal at the 21st week of the pregnancy. For instance, this is the time when acne can develop and worsen. This is contributed to the increase in oil production. If this is the case, you should consider washing your face with mild soap and water twice a day. In addition, you can make use of moisturizers and make up products that are oil free. You should not take over the counter acne medications unless prescribed by your health care provider, as there are some medications that contain ingredients that can harm your baby.
Since you are prone to developing varicose veins, you can adhere to regimens that can minimize them like propping your feet and legs up whenever you can and sleeping on your left side. You should also consider wearing maternity support hose and exercising. You should adhere to an exercise routine that is ideal for pregnant women.