You are halfway through the second trimester of pregnancy at the end of week 21. It is necessary for you to continue eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of fluids along with doing exercises and yoga. You would receive few kicks from your baby unexpectedly and you have started to wait for it anxiously at this stage.
There will be consistent weight gain in every week from now on. On average a pregnant woman would have gained 12-15 pounds at this stage but this is not a rule for all women. Apart from regular heartburn and indigestion issues you will have fresh problems like leg pain and swelling of legs. Your belly is pooching out very much making it visible that you are in the middle stage of pregnancy. Swelling occurs due to the increase in body weight and is quite common during this stage. You can cut the salt intake in your foods and keep your legs elevated (above the level of your heart) whenever you can. It is easy to keep your legs elevated when you are lying down.
This would help in reducing leg cramps. Alternatively you can use pregnancy pillow for keeping your legs elevated. You can also try keeping your legs in lukewarm water to reduce pain and swelling. It becomes difficult for some women to walk like before so watch your steps. Do not walk hastily from now on. Pregnancy symptoms at the stage of 21 weeks include feeling dizzy and fainting in some women. Some of them will have breathing problems and it becomes more when they lie on their back. The uterus is pushing other organs inside making way for the developing fetus.
Wear comfortable clothing and use comfortable slippers and shoes. It is natural for many women to have increased appetite. You can take up to 500 additional calories from this period. In case of any doubts, you can consult your healthcare provider for the right eating habits. Stick on to eat healthy foods and avoid coffee and other beverages.
Baby’s Development :
Now the baby’s size is as big as placenta. It begins to enjoy the warm and comfortable room of the uterus and swims and kicks to show his excitement. Blood circulation will be in full swing in his body and most of the other systems become functional as well. His heart pumps out blood supplying to the entire organs of his body. The umbilical cord will gradually grow in length and becomes thick. The digestive system will begin its function by digesting the amniotic fluid that he swallows from time to time. The intestine will now begin to contract and relax on its own.
His facial features are profound with fully grown eyes, ears and nose. Even the eye brows are fully developed on his face and one can see the fingernails and toenails covering his phalanges. Now your baby is almost 8-9 inches in length and weighs about 10-12 ounces. Roughly the baby is about the size of a big banana during the 21st week of pregnancy. He will continue to grow and expand in full swing in the consecutive weeks.
Tips for the Week :
Most of the time you would feel hungry and wanting something to eat. You can carry a large apple or banana or any fruit of your choice in your bag. There can be cravings for certain foods which you never tasted before. You can eat as you wish but watch you are not overeating fried items and fatty foods.
Avoid getting stressed during this time since your emotions can affect your baby. You have to bear with heartburn and constipation problems from now on until delivery. You can talk to your doctor for consuming right set of foods that are less acidic. You can spend more time with support group members so that you can share your feelings openly with them. Continue doing yoga and exercises which will help you a lot to overcome many symptoms. Wear loose clothing in which you can stay comfortable. Go for a small walk in your workplace after your lunch that would help in digestion process eliminating gases.