Pregnancy week by week

Baby

Toddler

Week 21 of Pregnancy

You are passed the halfway mark and you will notice that baby is very active by now! Over the next few weeks the baby will move so much that it may be hard to sleep. This will continue till it gets very crowded for the baby.

Your experience this week won’t be different from the past few weeks. Your belly will continue to swell and you will feel your baby moving around. You may start feeling hungry all the time. Lots of women dive back into eating and tend to overeat. The best approach is same as before. Eating a number of small, healthy, well distributed meals throughout the day is the healthiest choice for you and your baby. You shouldn’t double your food intake. Most physicians recommend aiming for 300 calories a day on top of whatever is healthiest for your body weight. You should be gaining at the rate of app. 1 pound per week



Your body

As most of the early pregnancy symptoms are gone, most women enjoy this phase of pregnancy. You might want to book antenatal classes if you haven’t done so already. You could find that you enjoy sex more than ever in these middle months. The blood supply to the sexual organs and to the breasts increases. As a result, vaginal discharge may also increase now. If there is a significant change in the colour, odour, or amount of vaginal discharge, you must consult your doctor immediately. There is an increases risk of developing urinary tract infection at this stage. To avoid this, drink lots of water and wear loose clothes. Bacterial infection is extremely common during pregnancy, but if it goes untreated it may lead to kidney infection.

You will still be troubled by the symptoms that you have been experiencing throughout your second trimester. Your gums may bleed, you may have nasal congestion and snore at night, and you may be growing extra hair all over your body. You may still be putting up with indigestion and heartburn. Backaches and abdominal aches are still common this week, and you may also have varicose veins and stretch marks. Refer to our section on second trimester symptoms to get tips on how to relieve these symptoms.

Due to hormonal changes occurring in your body, you may have severe mood swings and even bouts of depression. It is very important to have a supportive circle of family and friends at this time to help you cope with the changes happening in your body. It is important for you to spend at least an hour a day engaged in hobbies and activities you enjoy. You can join our due date club and chat with other mums to be about how you are feeling.



Your baby



This week your baby is the same length as a banana. She has developed a whitish coat of substance called “vernix caseosa” . It protects the baby’s delicate skin from the adversities of being constantly immersed in amniotic fluid. Your baby is steadily gaining weight. Her hair and nail continue to grow. She is developing eyebrows and lashes. She is swallowing, getting the digestive system working. Your baby’s bone marrow has started making blood cells, a job done by the liver and spleen until this point. The placenta has provided nearly all of your baby’s nourishment, now your baby will start absorbing small amounts of sugar from swallowed amniotic fluid. In girls, the vagina is formed. The ovaries are filled with more than six million eggs needed for reproduction in later life. In boys, the testes begin to descend from the abdomen to the scrotum and the genitals are distinctly visible. As early as 21 weeks, the baby can recognise her mother’s voice and begins to respond to sounds. She may turn towards your voice when she is born, so make sure you talk to her now as much as possible.


Remember

Now is the time to think about having a break before the baby is born and you are still comfortable enough to travel. Most airlines have restrictions on flying during pregnancy with a medical clearance required to fly past 36 weeks. If you are having a multiple pregnancy or have experienced complications, the “cut off” period can be as early as 32 weeks.



FAQs


1) What are Kegel exercises and why are they important during pregnancy?

Kegel exercises are also called pelvic floor exercises. These exercises strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor that supporting your uterus, bladder and bowels. They are considered to be one of the most important exercises for a pregnant woman. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy can help you control your muscles during labour.

These exercises also prevent the problem of bladder leaks which is quite common in late pregnancy. Doing these exercises after birth helps promote perineal healing and regain bladder control early. Refer to our section on pregnancy fitness to learn how to do these exercises.





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