Week 21 Pregnancy: Pains, Belly Pictures & Symptoms

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Week 21 Pregnancy pains belly pictures & symptoms

You’ve arrived at week 21 of your pregnancy, 19 weeks from conception.  Congratulations!  You’ve officially entered the second half of your pregnancy!

Week 21 Pregnancy:  How big is your baby?

Baby now weighs around 10 1/2 – 11 1/2 ounces and is measuring about 10 1/2 inches from crown to heel. Your precious little one is about the size of a carrot (1)!

WEEK 21 PREGNANCY HOW BIG IS BABY

Week 21 Pregnancy:  Belly pictures

At this point, you’re officially starting to look pregnant.  You’ve likely gained around 10 to 15 pounds, and you’re measuring about 8 1/2 inches from the pubic symphysis to your belly button (2).  Check out these fun week 21 pregnancy belly pictures!!

Week 21 pregnancy belly pictures

Week 21 Pregnancy:  Baby’s Development

Be proud of your little one — he’s making some big changes this week!

  • Your baby now actively sucks and swallows amniotic fluid (3)
  • Peristaltic movements (gentle, wave-like movements that move the contents of the intestines) now begin in the digestive system
  • Meconium (a greenish-black substance that is passed in baby’s first stool) is now starting to form in baby’s gut (2)
  • Baby’s fingers and toes are completely formed, including fingerprints

WEEK 21 PREGNANCY MECONIUM

Week 21 Pregnancy:  Symptoms & Pains

Heartburn

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the throat and chest, and unfortunately it’s common during pregnancy.  The hormones of pregnancy can cause the valves between your stomach and esophagus to relax, allowing stomach acid to leak into the esophagus.  As baby grows, he’ll add to the problem by pushing up against your stomach (2).

Simple tips to ease heartburn:  Try eating small and more frequent meals.  Avoid lying down after eating.  And, if necessary, use a low-sodium antacid (3).

Varicose Veins

Pregnancy is prime time for the development of varicose veins.  Increased progesterone makes the walls of your veins relax (3).  Toss in your increased blood volume and increased pressure on the veins in your legs from baby’s weight.  And voila!  Varicose veins!

Try to avoid varicosities by exercising and curbing the habit to cross your legs.  Ease the discomfort of existing varicose veins by elevating your legs and wearing compression stockings.  (They sound uncomfortable, but I can tell you from experience that they make all the difference!!)

WEEK 21 PREGNANCY PAINS VARICOSE VEINS

Keep on plugging away!  We’ll see you again at week 22 of your pregnancy!

Kopa Birth’s online birthing classes allow you to prepare for a natural hospital birth from the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class and start preparing for your natural birth!

References:

(1) Retrieved at http://parentingpatch.com/how-big-is-your-baby-week-week-food-comparisons/

(2) Glade, B.C., Schuler, J.  (2011).  Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th edition.  First Da Capo Press.

(3) Ladewig, P.A., London, M.L., Davidson, M.R.  (2006).  Contemporary Maternal-Newborn Nursing Care, 6th edition.  Pearson Prentice Hall.  Upper Saddle River, NJ.