21 Weeks Pregnant – What To Expect?
This week you may find it difficult to sleep. Your tummy gets in the way or your baby tosses and turns when you are about to fall asleep. It's said that this is nature's way of getting you prepared for the phase of disrupted sleep, once the baby is born.
Your physical changes this week
Due to high levels of oestrogen in your body, your arms and legs may have a motley appearance. This is normal in trimester two. Post delivery, this will subside and your skin will become as it was before pregnancy.
You are aware that your breasts have gone through changes in size and appearance and you may have bought bras of bigger sizes a couple of times by now. By now your nipples are bigger in size and the areola will keep darkening in colour as the pregnancy progresses. However, this week, the growth of your breasts may stabilise.
You may have put on weight in the last couple of weeks. A major cause of this is your developing baby.
Don't fret if you feel like eating chalk or charcoal or any other such strange non-edible foodstuff. This kind of craving is called 'Pica'. The logical explanation for this is that your body is craving for these substances because it might be a source of trace elements which your body needs at this time. So, resist the temptation of picking up that chalk and instead try to find texture and taste of the similar kind from the wide variety of food which you are advised to eat.
Your belly button is one more thing in your body which will change the way it looks permanently, after delivery. In week 21, your belly button may look flat but may pop out as your baby grows in the weeks to come.
Your baby's changes this week
- Your baby is approximately 310 grams in weight and is the size of a banana.
- This week your baby's brain and muscles work in synchronisation.
- The baby is constantly swallowing amniotic fluid, digesting it and excreting it as urine in the amniotic fluid.
- Your baby is forming waste products from his or her body to be released as the first bowel motion, known as meconium.
- Formation of tiny tooth buds in your baby's gums, for the permanent teeth, has started now.
Though still reasonably small in size, your baby is surely growing every day but still has a long way to go.
You may have observed that your baby's movements are less jerky now. Rather, they are deliberate and strong. There is a reason, an intent behind those movements. For example, if you lie down in a certain posture which your baby does not like, he or she will wriggle and move till you get into a position that is more comfortable for your baby.
If the water that you are drinking is rich in fluoride then it will benefit the formation of your baby's teeth.
Hints of the week
To relieve the discomfort in your feet, you may consider using orthotic inner supports in your shoes. Wearing lower heels, supportive heel cups and shoes a size bigger than your normal size may make you feel comfortable too. But consult a podiatrist if you are too concerned.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease transmitted by infected cat faeces. But just in case you have a pet cat or cats and have no other way but to clean littered cat faeces, then wear gloves and wash your hand thoroughly after cleaning.
Do not eat uncooked meat, unwashed fruit and vegetables or drink unpasteurised milk as you may contact toxoplasmosis.
You may require to switch on the air conditioner, no matter what the season is as you may feel extremely hot and sweaty during this time.
Getting irritable, snapping at other people are part of the mood swings that you may be going through.
Whether you are planning your maternity leave or your baby's nursery, it is essential to do everything in a calm and peaceful manner. Stay away from tension and stress during pregnancy. It is best to accept the changes that are taking place and enjoy your pregnancy.
A new born with a birth weight <2.5 kg. is a Low Birth Weight Baby and would need special care.