Congratulations! You have successfully completed the first half of your pregnancy. Now you would not even realize the time passing by as you approach the final day. Soon you will begin and embrace your journey of motherhood. It is often said that the only true and the purest form of love is that of a mother and her child’s. She falls in love with her baby the moment it is conceived. There are no biases or conditions, it is the kind of unconditional love that can never happen in your life with anyone else.
We know that you are eagerly waiting for the day your baby will arrive. You must have already come up with names and began the count down on your calendar. Also, you must start preparing things for your baby. Later you may not find time or ability to do it. Get your baby journal and all the things that your baby would possibly need. It is time to start designing the nursery now that you are 21 weeks pregnant.
Pregnancy week: 21
Your baby’s height is almost 10 inches and weighs around 398 grams. The size of the baby at 21 weeks is almost the same length as an average carrot. It was not long back that it measured the same as a blueberry seed. It has come a long way and so have you with your pregnancy. The baby is showing significant growth and is getting ready to roll!
At 21 weeks pregnant, the placenta of the baby delivers most of the nutrients to the baby. It does so until the baby is born. Once the baby is born, its digestive system is the one in charge. In your 21st week of pregnancy, the development of the digestive system takes place. The pancreas of the baby has already begun to make enzymes that help in breaking down the food for digestion. Meanwhile, the small intestine is in development as well. It is growing longer and helping the baby absorb nutrients from the amniotic fluid that it swallows.
Your baby can now sense skin touch. If you put pressure on your 21-week baby bump, it will respond by moving away or towards it. Also, until now, most of the red blood cells were being produced by the baby’s liver. But after 21 weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s bone marrow would become a major contributor. By the time you are 24 weeks pregnant, the baby’s bone marrow will take up the sole responsibility of the same and will become the primary red blood cell producer.
Besides that, your baby’s eyelids that were shut and sealed until now will begin to separate now. Additionally, your baby has developed taste buds by now. It can taste all the spicy and sweet things you eat through amniotic fluid. Your baby will remember the taste of the things you eat now and would develop the same eating preferences while growing up, according to research. Hence, if you want your baby to like green and leafy vegetables growing up, eat your greens now.
This week you are most likely to experience the typical second-trimester pregnancy symptoms. Regular pregnancy discomforts like backache, heartburn, food cravings, forgetfulness, round ligament pain, leg cramps, skin changes, and nasal congestion would be felt. Along with these regular second-trimester pregnancy symptoms, you may also find yourself experiencing the following. These changes or discomforts primarily occurs due to the change in your blood circulation.
Along with your 21 weeks baby bump, another thing that would grow is your legs. You may find your ankles and feet swollen and widen this week. It is a very common pregnancy discomfort and about 80% of pregnant women complain about the same. All these pregnant women face at least some degree of edema or swelling in the legs. It may get worse at times when the weather is hot, you were standing up or sitting down for a long period, and at the end of the day.
2. Varicose veins
Varicose veins are those small twisted purple veins that show up on your legs when you are pregnant. These purple or blueish veins bulge out from your skin. These veins occur during pregnancy due to the extra weight or pressure added to the legs. The enlarging uterus, fluctuating hormones, and extra fluid in the body cause this extra pressure consequentially.
These varicose veins can make your legs pain, ache, cramp, or give a sense of heaviness to them. Although these varicose veins typically occur on the legs in some cases it can also appear on the rectum or vulva of the pregnant woman. The varicose veins appearing on the anus area or around the rectum are scientifically called hemorrhoids.
Your baby’s head, limbs, and rest of the body are in proportion now. Your baby can now move around in your womb while it still has space to. You would find yourself sensing kicks at different places inside of your womb. Although you would not be able to differentiate fists from kicks now.
Soon as the baby grows a little bigger you would be able to do differentiate. You would find your baby sleeping, waking up, kicking, and swallowing amniotic fluid all the time and on loop. This has become your baby’s routine now. The scan would give you a green go if everything is going smoothly and in course.
Drink plenty of water
While it may add on to the extra fluid that pressurizes your legs, drinking water would help flush out all those fluids. It also helps with varicose veins. Besides, keeping yourself hydrated at all times is very crucial.
Elevate your legs
Standing or sitting in the same position can trigger pain in your legs. Thus, try to keep your legs elevated. Your pain will ease a little for sure.
Pregnancy can be a trying and humbling experience. A pregnant woman understands the true value of life and the hardships that come along with it. But she also knows in her gut that the bliss followed by the birth of her child would be priceless. So take care of yourself and get going!