You’re over the midway point of your pregnancy and you may feel your baby moving more intensely at 21 weeks pregnant. Your bundle of joy is growing quickly and will be halfway towards full birth size.
Let’s take a look at the things happening to your body and baby this week.
How big is my baby?
At 10.5 inches in length, your beautiful little person is now about the size of a carrot and will weigh anything between 13 and 14 ounces.
Your baby will now respond to your touch. If you apply pressure on your belly, don’t be surprised if your bubba moves away or even pushes back against you.
What’s my baby doing at 21 weeks pregnant?
Kicking & movements
You might feel more intense kicking, rolling, and movements from your baby in week 21 of your pregnancy. This is because your baby’s arms and legs are active and at the right size of the growth pattern. They have a lot more control of their movements in week 21 and you will likely know all about it!
As much as their movement will be increasing, your baby will also be sleeping now almost as much as a newborn. They will also be tasting what you eat so now is a great time to get some of those favourite foods down to help with weaning at 6 months!
Your baby’s digestive system will be developing at a rapid rate. Their small intestine will be growing in length and absorbing key nutrients taken from the amniotic fluid that they swallow, but your placenta will still be giving your baby most of its nutrients.
It may seem a little early, but your baby will now have started developing its reproductive systems. Females will have started forming ovaries and eggs and males will have begun developing their testes.
Changes to your body
You will likely still be facing some of the common discomforts seen in the second trimester, such as backache, heartburn, nasal congestion, and changes to your skin.
Lots of women in notice changes to their belly button in trimester two. Many women keep a flat belly button throughout their pregnancy, where others find that their belly buttons pop out and become far more prominent. Don’t be alarmed if your belly button starts to take on a different shape as your baby grows.
If you’ve noticed your breasts swelling in size this should start to ease this week. Your nipples will become slightly larger and the areola may have started to darken in colour. It’s not uncommon to step up in bra size over the duration of your pregnancy as your body prepares for breastfeeding. Now is a good time to start thinking about maternity bras.
It’s common to start putting on more weight in your second trimester. This is because you gain almost all of your pregnancy weight by your third trimester. Your baby is growing and developing fat and muscle so expect to put those skinny jeans away soon!
Craving non-edible foods
If you find yourself drooling from the mouth and staring at non-edible items like coal, ice, dirt, sand, chalk and even mud – don’t panic because it’s quite common in pregnancy. Craving non-edible foods is actually an eating disorder officially called pica.
Pica is common during pregnancy because your body has increased nutritional needs. If you find yourself craving non-edible foods try to focus on the foods you should be eating during pregnancy.
If your legs feel like they are taking a bit of a beating this week, you’re probably facing cramping and in some cases, varicose veins can be a problem. Try to take the strain off your feet whenever you get the chance.
Things to do this week
Now is the time to start preparing for maternity and paternity leave.
Statutory maternity leave covers 52 weeks and you can take statutory maternity pay (known as SMP) for only 39 of those weeks. You need to discuss and agree with your employer when you want your SMP to kick in. Speak to your HR department and ask them for a MAT B1 form.
You can read more about navigating maternity and paternity leave in our fabulously helpful article here.