21 weeks pregnant is a milestone to celebrate and savor. Find out what to expect when you’re 21 weeks pregnant, find out whether you can feel baby yet and what your uterus looks like. What size is a 12-week-pregnant uterus? What are the 8th week symptoms? When does baby start to move?
Your baby at week 21 of pregnancy
In the coming weeks, you’ll see your baby gaining weight. Your unborn child’s body will develop layers of fat. When he is born, he can wear these garments to be warm and protected from the elements.
A fine fur known as lanugo grows all over his body. His eyelids remain closed, giving the impression that he is still sleeping, but his constant wiggling will prove otherwise. Baby may hiccup and you may feel it. These sudden movements are the result of developing lungs practicing breathing.
21 weeks pregnant is how many months?
When you are 21 weeks pregnant, you are officially in 5 months of your pregnancy, just another 4 months to go! Congratulations, you’ve already made great progress!
How big is your baby at 21 weeks pregnant?
At 21 weeks your baby, also known as a foetus, is currently about 340g-360g (11.9 -12.7 oz) in weight and around 26 cm (10.5 in) in length from head to bottom which is about the size of a mango or heirloom tomato. They are growing quickly and are about to have a growth spurt. They will roughly almost double in size over the next month.
21 weeks pregnant baby position
During weeks 21 to 24, your baby is still small enough to change positions a lot – head down, feet down, or even sideways. Your baby sleeps long hours every day, about 12 to 14 hours, although it might not seem like it to you.
21 weeks pregnant: baby’s development
Your baby’s heartbeat is now audible with a stethoscope, though it may be difficult to tell apart from your own. Keep an ear out for the faster rhythm; a baby’s heartbeat is 120 to 160 beats per minute, or roughly twice as fast as yours. In the ears of many females, it is eerily reminiscent of galloping horses.
There are signs that your baby is developing sleep and wake cycles. Pregnant babies have been shown on ultrasound to develop a preference for a certain sleeping position.
About 21 weeks into pregnancy, your baby’s fingers and toes will be fully grown, and you’ll be able to take their fingerprints and toe prints. This week, an ultrasound could reveal that your baby is already sucking his or her thumb.
Small amounts of amniotic fluid can now be swallowed and absorbed by your baby’s growing digestive system. Her little spleen and liver have been responsible for producing blood cells, but now her bone marrow can do the same. These blood cells are no longer produced by the liver and spleen before birth.
Your body at 21 weeks pregnant
Now that your body is accustomed to your new addition, you’ll notice several pregnancy symptoms disappear: Nausea becomes a distant memory and fatigue more manageable. Your breasts and abdomen are less tender, but you may experience itchiness and see stretch marks as your body continues to expand. As your internal organs are pushed aside to make room for the growing fetus, you may have heartburn, indigestion, and bloating. Your mood swings lessen, but you may have more anxiety about labor and motherhood as the reality of your baby’s birth draws closer.
Bonding with Your Baby-to-Be
You don’t have to wait until your baby arrives to begin bonding. Throughout your pregnancy you may have thoughts and impressions about your baby-to-be’s personality. Maybe she constantly wiggles at a certain time of day, or her movements become less frequent when you’re listening to particular kinds of music. Try these simple ideas to feel closer your little one.
Talk to your baby-to-be
According to a 2005 study by Barbara Kisilevsky, a nursing professor at Queens University in Ontario, Canada, babies prefer their mothers’ voices even before they’re born. Kisilevsky, who conducted the research with a team of psychologists from Queens and obstetricians in Hangzhou, China, found that babies’ heart rates in utero accelerated at the sound of their mothers’ voices. You can help your baby get to know your voice by talking to him. Sing to him in the car, rattle off the ingredients as you cook dinner, or read to him. Let other family members in on the fun; your partner or other children can talk to your tummy, too!
Start a library for your little one
If this is your first child, you may not have any baby books in your home. Before your baby arrives, pick out stories you can share with her. You’ll be reading these stories over and over again, so choose carefully. (And remember, you don’t have to wait she’s born to start reading to her.)
Listen to music together
Your baby can hear sounds, including music, in utero (how well she hears it is still a matter of scientific study). While you may not convert your baby-to-be to your preferred bands, you’ll feel a connection to her as she kicks during your favorite tunes. Try picking an anthem for your baby—maybe a Beatles classic, a country ballad, or a calming lullaby.
Ready the nursery
Preparing your child’s room can help you envision what life will be like once he arrives. Choosing colors, picking out crib sheets, and adding decorations to plain walls may make your impending motherhood feel all the more real.
Buy baby clothes
Shopping for a little one can be fun. Just look at how small those newborn socks are! Display your finds on hangers in the nursery.
Blog your pregnancy
Help your family and friends know more about how you’re feeling through a website designed around your pregnancy. Post ultrasound pictures or—if you’re brave enough—pictures of your growing baby bump. Friends and family can offer support and share in your excitement.
Keep a journal of your thoughts
Take time to reflect on what it means to be carrying your child. Record these thoughts in a diary so that you’ll never forget how you felt during your pregnancy. You may even share this journal with your child once he gets older.
21 weeks pregnant tips and advice
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is important. Your body uses more water during your pregnancy to fuel your increased blood supply (necessary to get your baby-to-be plenty of nutrients) and other body functions. Taken to extremes, dehydration can lead to preterm labor pains. So bring a water bottle to work with you—and drink it.
Use the bathroom—often
Drinking more water means more trips to the bathroom. Add to that, your kidneys are working overtime to filter impurities from your increased blood supply. To avoid stares from coworkers, plan discrete potty breaks. Go when you first get to the office and take a break on the way from meetings or other times when you’re already up so your trips will be less noticeable. Putting off a trip to the bathroom is a bad idea—it makes you uncomfortable and puts stress on your bladder, which can lead to bladder infections.
Bring light snacks
Food may not be appealing, especially if you’re experiencing nausea. Skip a full-blown lunch and opt for lighter fare throughout the day. Keep in mind that some pregnancy comfort foods are dead giveaways, such as crackers. If you’re trying to keep your pregnancy a secret, try less notorious foods that still comfort nausea but that don’t shout, “I’m pregnant!” Opt for foods high in protein, such as string cheese, almonds, or milk.
Wear comfortable clothes
You’ve probably packed away your tight-fitting pants already. If you haven’t, now’s probably the time to say goodbye to your hip-hugging ensembles until after your baby’s arrival. Avoiding tight clothes isn’t just about hiding your baby bump. Your body may be retaining water to fuel your increased blood supply, and constricting clothes are not only tight on your skin, but the blood that’s trying to flow underneath.
Watch your posture
Take time to get off your feet and walk around. Staying in the same position for too long allows the blood to pool in the lower part of your body, potentially making you light-headed. Put your feet up whenever possible to keep your blood flowing properly.
Having Trouble Sleeping at 21 weeks Pregnant
Having difficulties sleeping is a common pregnant symptom, and it’s especially common in the second and third trimesters, when other pregnancy symptoms peak and a growing belly makes it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.
When you’re 21 weeks pregnant, it could hurt to sleep on your stomach, but studies indicates that lying on your back puts more strain on the vena cava, the main blood vessel that returns blood to the heart.
Your blood circulation will increase if you sleep on your left side, which will also be good for your uterus, kidneys, and fetus. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try placing a pillow between your knees and another under your stomach. If the problem persists, consult your doctor.
21 weeks Pregnant: Wellness and Nutrition
What should you avoid during pregnancy? Doctors agree that you should avoid the following:
- Activities that may cause you to fall, or that place pressure or force on your belly
- Intense, overly vigorous exercise – if you’re too out of breath to talk, you’re probably exercising too hard.
- Drinking alcohol, smoking, and caffeine (ask your doctor how much caffeine you should consume each day)
- Sweeteners such as saccharine and herbal sweeteners (ask your doctor if artificial sweeteners are appropriate)
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications (check with your doctor about what’s safe during pregnancy)
- Paint, cleaning products, and solvents can expose you to chemicals and fumes. Acrylic and latex paints are generally considered safe. However, you should consult your doctor before helping around the house or in the nursery.
- Saunas and hot tubs
- Chemical treatments for your hair, such as dye and perms
Week 21 unsightly pregnancy symptoms
Your body undergoes many changes to give your baby-to-be enough room to grow. Some of these changes are comforting—your rounded belly and your full breasts, for example—while other signs can be troubling. Keep in mind that many of these physical changes will last only until your baby arrives.
You should expect to gain 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy. As distressing as weight gain can be for some women, those pounds are necessary for your growing baby. Much of the weight is extra fluids (such as blood), tissues (like your breasts), and of course, your baby. If you eat a sensible pregnancy diet and stay fit, you should be able to lose much of your pregnancy weight after your baby’s birth. (Some women are able to shed pounds in a matter of weeks; others need as much as a year to get their bodies back in shape).
Breast changes and tenderness
Tenderness and slight alterations in the shape of your breasts are common pregnancy symptoms around the 21st week. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are responsible for these alterations, which help your body get ready for breastfeeding after giving birth. You might find that your breasts are more sensitive to touch and feel fuller than usual.
Fatigue (constant tiredness or weakness)
One of the most typical symptoms of early pregnancy is fatigue, which frequently starts at this point. Although there are many causes of exhaustion during pregnancy (including changes in hormone levels), some research indicates that inadequate sleep brought on by nighttime awakenings from unpleasant sleeping positions may also be a role.
Heartburn or gas
There may be a rise in heartburn and flatulence during the 21st week of pregnancy. This is because progesterone produces a decrease in the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle, which typically prevents stomach acid from entering the esophagus. This can cause heartburn and discomfort by allowing stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus. Try spreading your meals out more, staying away from items that are known to cause heartburn (such spicy foods), and drinking lots of water.
Mood swings and crying spells
The 21st week of pregnancy is a vulnerable time for women, when they are more likely to experience mood swings and crying spells. Until your hormone levels settle, this will have an impact on your mental and emotional well-being. This is a common occurrence for pregnant women; one study indicated that 75% of women felt emotional shifts like irritability or depression in the first trimester.
Food cravings, aversions, or both
During your 21st week of pregnancy, It’s common to crave foods that are high in protein, such as meat and cheese, which are essential for your baby’s development. You may also have strong aversions to certain foods, like vegetables or fruits that you normally enjoy eating but now find repulsive. This is normal—just make sure you don’t completely eliminate any food groups from your diet.
Pregnant stretch marks
In the 21st week of pregnancy, stretch marks, sometimes called striae gravidarum, may occur on the belly. Stretch marks form when the skin is forced apart and then stretched beyond its natural elasticity, as happens during rapid growth or weight gain (like pregnancy)
Indigestion, or constipation
During the 21st week of pregnancy, you may suffer gastrointestinal issues like indigestion or constipation. Pregnancy hormones like progesterone and estrogen might increase the likelihood of gastrointestinal issues including indigestion. These hormones slow down digestion by relaxing the digestive tract, preventing food from being swallowed whole. You can reduce the frequency and severity of indigestion during pregnancy by cutting out on high-fat and sugary foods and eating more often, smaller meals (like sweets or fried foods).
Your body retains water to provide the necessary fluids for your growing baby-to-be. You can prevent much of this swelling from drinking plenty of fluids and keeping your legs up. You may also want to purchase socks designed to improve the circulation in your feet.
Your blood volume has increased dramatically to provide nutrients to your baby-to-be. This increase, along with swelling caused by pregnancy hormones, might make your gums bleed.
The skin’s pigmentation may deepen around certain parts of your body during pregnancy, such as your nipples and freckles. You may also notice spots of color on your face, called the mask of pregnancy or chloasma. These pigmentation changes will fade after your baby’s born.
No symptoms at 21 weeks pregnant
Yes, it is possible to be 21 weeks pregnant with no obvious signs of pregnancy at all! It’s important to remember that every pregnant lady is unique. If you’re one of the happy few who never gets morning sickness, for instance, you may relax and enjoy your pregnancy. But if you do have symptoms, you should definitely pay heed to them. If you are pregnant and have any health concerns, you should always consult your doctor.
21 weeks pregnant belly size (baby bumb)
Your pregnancy bump grows larger at 21 weeks.
Braxton Hicks contractions are also becoming more noticeable for some mothers.
This is your uterus contracting and relaxing. You’ve been having contractions since you were about 7 weeks pregnant. They are not painful and should not cause you concern.
Braxton Hicks will become more frequent and intense from now until the baby is born. If the Braxton Hicks contractions become uncomfortable, consult your doctor immediately.
You may have an irritated uterus, which implies you should take things slowly.
Braxton Hicks at 21 weeks Pregnant
At 21 weeks pregnant, you may find that your Braxton Hicks contractions are becoming more frequent and intense. You may feel them in your back or lower abdomen, and they may last anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. If you’re having regular contractions, it’s important to talk with your doctor about any pain or discomfort you experience during them.
Braxton Hicks are common during the third trimester. You may not even notice them because they feel like mild discomfort or a dull ache in your lower abdomen. They’re also called practice contractions because they prepare your body for real labor by getting it ready to push out a baby when the time comes.
21 weeks pregnant ultrasound
This ultrasound at 21 weeks will astound you! Not only will you be able to see baby on the screen, but you will also be able to view some amazing details such as the brain hemispheres and heart chambers. Let your technician know if you wish to know the gender of your baby. Typically women see you babies sex (gender) 18-21 weeks ultrasound
The importance of prenatal vitamins during pregnancy
During pregnancy, you need a greater amount of folic acid and iron. Why? Here are some reasons:
Folic acid prevents neural tube defects
These defects affect the fetal brain and spinal cord in a significant way. Preferably, you should begin taking extra folic acid three months before you become pregnant.
The placenta and baby require iron to develop
The body uses iron to make blood to supply oxygen to the baby. Additionally, iron helps prevent anemia, a condition in which the blood lacks healthy red blood cells
It’s important to consult your doctor or healthcare provider to find out which are the best prenatal vitamins to take before pregnancy, and how to calculate your expected delivery date.
21 weeks pregnant hCG levels
At 21 weeks pregnant, your hCG levels can range from about 4,060 – 165,400 mIU/m.
Explore more in your pregnancy week-by-week
Follow your pregnancy week-by-week to find out how your baby is growing and what is happening to your body.
First Trimester Weeks:
Second Trimester Weeks
Third Trimester Weeks
Pregnant Women Also Asked:
Got questions about week 6? Other ladies have wondered this…
- How pregnancy happens. (n.d.)
- Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG). (2018.)
- Knowing if you are pregnant. (2019).
- Navigating your pregnancy. (n.d.).
- Pregnancy. (2017).
- Pregnancy: Sensitivity and specificity. (n. d.).
- Pregnancy tests. (n.d.)
- Pregnancy week by week. Weeks 1–2. (n.d.).
- Stages of pregnancy. (n.d.).