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21 Weeks Pregnant

21 Weeks Pregnant

Hello again - how's that 'baby bump' coming along?

Are you starting to notice those movements a lot more now? Did you know that the best chance of catching sight of your baby's movements is to lie on your bed or even in the bath. Watch carefully and you never know, you might just see a hand or foot movement if your baby decides to be energetic and play along!

Changes to you and your body

As you move into the second half of your pregnancy some mums-to-be start to be troubled by insomnia at this stage. If you are struggling to get comfortable at night, try placing a pillow between your knees and an extra one at your back so that you can sleep in a sitting position or you may also find that supporting your growing bump with a cushion or 'wedge' will help take weight and make your nightimes more manageable.

You may also be experiencing hot flushing, cramps, backache and a frequent need to urinate, which are all perfectly normal, if not a little annoying symptons of a normal pregnancy!

Some expectant mums also find that their breasts start to leak a substance called colostrum at this stage. This is perfectly natural and is the first secretion of breast milk as clever mums-to-be now pass on antibodies within the blood supply to protect the baby from infection.

Did you know that, as well as building healthy bones and teeth, calcium also helps regulate blood pressure and to sustain a regular heartbeat? So it's a good idea to choose foods with high calcium content now to ensure your baby's and your own continuing health. Calcium rich foods include milk, yoghurt, cheese, dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, and dried bean pulses are great calcium rich foods.

Changes to your baby

By week 21 your baby is approximately 28-32cm in length, weighing 360 grams and about the length of a good-sized banana! If they haven't already, your baby may now begin to hiccup and this will be felt by Mum as a rhythmic pattern of movement.

Your baby can now open and close their eyes, their skin becomes less thin, the tongue is now formed and if your baby is a girl her vagina and womb are already fully formed. Continuing brain development means that your baby's movement will be more become more synchronised and deliberate as they establish their own sleep/awake pattern, which is similar to that of a newborn.

By week 21 your baby is approximately 28-32cm in length and about the length of a good-sized banana! If they haven't already, your baby may now begin to hiccup and this will be felt by Mum as a rhythmic pattern of movement.

Tips for a happy pregnancy

If you are suffering with swelling of the legs and/or ankles and feet consider using support stockings for the duration of your pregnancy. Keeping your feet elevated when sitting and taking short, regular exercise throughout the day; a short walk at lunchtime, stretching exercises or swimming will also be beneficial in chasing away those aches and pains.

Remember to involve your partner

Your world has changed dramatically during pregnancy and it is a good idea to ensure that your partner feels involved in the pregnancy too. Talk things over often, tell him about your feelings and encourage him to share his, especially if you are first-time parents. Make sure he has a bonding time with the baby too, and encourage him to talk or even sing to the baby. Whether or not making love is an option for you at this time, remain attentive to each other and if intercourse is not possible then find other ways to be intimate. Try listening to music together and remember your baby can hear sounds now. If you involve your partner as much as you can now, so that when baby arrives you will already feel like a family.
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