21 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hey there, moms and dads-to-be! Welcome to Week 21! As you progress through your pregnancy, so much is changing, but some things do remain constant. For me, one constant annoyance has been spider and varicose veins. During my previous pregnancies, I developed these veins yet they were not so painful. During recent days, especially during the late afternoon, I have barely been able to stand up due to the pressure from these veins. Which pregnancy symptom has been your kryptonite? Let’s think positive, shall we, and dive into the details of your 21st week of pregnancy!
21 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
21 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Have you noticed that your nails are growing faster recently? More nutrients are making their way to your nails due to increased blood flow, allowing them to grow faster and stronger. Nail and hair growth acceleration during pregnancy is common, so don’t fret if you have to make more frequent trips to the nail or beauty salon.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 21 Weeks
At week 21, your baby weighs 11.5 ounces and is 10.5 inches long, about the size of a pomegranate. Wow! Did your baby just have a massive growth spurt? This huge leap from approximately 6.5 inches to 10.5 inches is not solely due to an increase in size. It also ensues from a new way of measuring your baby’s length. In previous weeks, your baby was measured from the top of the head (the crown) to their bottom, since measuring to the feet is difficult (your baby has been in the fetal position). Beginning this week, your baby will be measured from the top of their head to their heels.
Your baby is getting tons of rest — up to 14 hours a day. That’s about as much as they’ll be sleeping after their birth. I, for one, wish I could sleep that long. Your baby’s waking moments will be spent using their new muscles to kick and stretch. As the weeks progress, these movements will get stronger (thanks to stronger bones and muscles), so most women at this point begin to feel their baby’s movements more consistently. I personally am not feeling my baby kick much; and the amount of kicks I’m noticing mirrors what I observed during prior pregnancies. Check with your doctor if you have any concerns. At this stage, your baby’s bone marrow also begins making red blood cells along with the liver and spleen.
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
The gestation period of a hippo is shorter than that of a human — only 8 months!
My Pregnant Belly Progression
Check out my 5 months pregnant belly! How’s your bump at at 21 weeks? Just as I expected, my belly growth is picking up speed now that I’m a bit later into my pregnancy.
Varicose Vein Treatment While Pregnant
My legs and inner thighs throb right now due to varicose veins. The pain is so intense that it actually hurts to stand still (walking is less painful, since I’m moving), especially in the late afternoon. The pain has been messing with my sleep. Let me know in the comments if you’re going through the same. The good news is that there are some easy methods you can employ to help reduce the pain. Below is a list of methods I’ve found to be helpful in reducing the swelling, pain, and less than pretty look of my varicose veins.
Your Pregnancy at 21 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
Here are the prenatal tests that are available at 21 weeks of pregnancy:
The Mid-Pregnancy Ultrasound
This week I had my mid-pregnancy ultrasound. This exam usually takes place at 20 weeks but I had mine at 21 weeks. During the scan, the doctor encouraged the baby to move around by gently putting pressure on my abdomen. She measured the baby and examined their spine, liver, brain, heart, hands, and feet. She also shot some 3D photos. During the ultrasound, I marveled at the definition of the in utero photos, which were more high res and complex than what I witnessed with my last baby ten years ago. Check out this week’s video for photos of my little one.
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
Quick, Healthy Meal
Caprese Salad: cut up a roma tomato and combine with 1 oz of mozzarella and 2 ½ leaves of chopped, fresh basil. Mix in one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. (snacknation)
Folic Acid is one of the most essential pregnancy vitamins that your baby needs. Folic acid is vital in helping ensure the correct formation of your baby’s neural tube. To get lots of folic acid in your diet (besides taking a prenatal vitamin), aim to eat these foods regularly: legumes, beets, eggs, asparagus, and other leafy greens.
How Many Months Is 21 Weeks?
Months vary in terms of the number of days and weeks, rendering measuring by month imprecise. For this reason, doctors calculate the duration of your pregnancy using weeks. That said, 21 weeks in months means that you are approximately 5 months pregnant.
Week 21 Pregnancy Checklist
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists