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21 Weeks Pregnant

21 Weeks Pregnant
Reviewed by Expert panel

Deciding on a name for your baby can be tricky, so start making that list

You may not know the sex of your baby but you and your partner can still have fun choosing names. This is a discussion that can run and run. Some couples don’t make up their minds until the baby is born. With such matters to preoccupy you, it’s probably hard to stay focused at work. Try to pace yourself without letting standards slip. Eating little and often, and drinking lots of water, will help you to stay alert.


1.Your uterus may now reach above your belly button, but there is a wide variation in bump size among women at the same week of pregnancy.



2.Beneath the skin, layers of body fat are being stored. Fats are essential because they contribute to the full development of the nervous system.

The bump starts here, announcing your pregnancy to the world. Your emotions are a rollercoaster, too. While one day you might be over the moon about your little bump, on others you might worry yourself sick about piling on too many kilos. Many couples find that their sex-drive increases at this time. Share any anxieties you might have with your partner.

Developments During Week 21 Of Pregnancy

Here are some developments during week 21 of pregnancy.

  1. Facial muscles have developed enough for the baby to pull faces, such as frowning, although she has no control over her expressions
  2. In the brain, nerve cells are forming and moving from the central to the outer areas. As yet, any neural activity is still very immature
  3. The skin is quite smooth and has a reddish tinge, as there is very little underlying fat
  4. The gut is too immature to function properly but it can take in the tiny amounts of amniotic fluid that the baby swallows at infrequent intervals
  5. At 16 weeks the average crown to rump length is 11.6cm (4.6in) and the average weight is 100g (3.5oz)
  6. Greater mobility in the hands means that the baby is able to suck her thumb

By now your baby is the size of an avocado and he or she is slowly developing eyesight and eyelashes.

How Does Your Baby Develop In Week 21 Of Pregnancy?

Your baby is ready for a growth spurt now. In the next few weeks, your tiny tot will be doubling in weight, and adding a lot of inches to its length. As of now, he or she is the size of an avocado, which equals to around 4.5 inches in height, from head to rump.

  1. Growth:The legs are quite well-developed,and his head will be more erect than a couple of weeks ago. Even though he or she isn’t quite recognizable yet, the baby would have a more flattened scalp now. Toenails are growing, and the heart pumps around 25 quarts of blood each day
  2. Muscles and nerves:Now that your baby’s backbone has become more erect, he or she can easily stretch or flex those muscles. Your baby will be straightening out the back and neck all the more now, while the nervous system is busy making connections to the muscles. Not only this, even your baby’s face can now move too, indicating that he or she is developing the facial expressions successfully
  3. Bones:Slowly but gradually, you will be able to feel fetal movements as your baby’s bones are hardening and developing a big growth spurt
  4. Grasping: If you could hold your baby now, he or she could fit into the palm of your hand, while the growing fetus will give your baby the room to play with the umbilical cord – a sign that your baby can now fully grasp objects. He or she will be able to kick the amniotic sac or put the thumb in the mouth
  5. Skin:Since there is no actual baby fat yet, your baby’s skin is paper-like. Practically translucent now, if you would have been able to look at your baby during this stage, you will be able to look at blood vessels under that thin skin
  6. Hearing:Your baby’s ears and tiny bones inside the ears are in place, making sure that she or he can hear your voice by the 16th week of pregnancy. In fact, many studies have found that babies who hear songs when in the womb, tend to recognize the same voice when they are born, hence do choose your lullabies with that in mind

Changes In You During Week 21 Of Pregnancy

By the 16th week of pregnancy, the placements of your uterus is going to be around halfway between your navel and your pubic bone. The ligaments that are circling your uterus are gaining more and more stretch and thickening too as they are growing.

  1. Feel good: This stage is often characterized by glowing skin, fewer mood swings and next to nil nausea
  2. Too early to feel baby kicks:While you might have been feeling an overall sense of well-being, some women by this stage might not be feeling their baby until they reach the 18th week mark.
    1. If this is your first very baby, then you might not be aware of your baby’s kicks and feel until you reach the 20th week of pregnancy
    2. The earliest kicks you might feel from your baby would be like gas bubbles, flutters and even a feeling where you might think popcorns are popping in your stomach
  3. Growing belly:By now you have a whole cup of amniotic fluid inside of you, hence making your pelvic region to look all the heavier and firm. You may feel heavier too, which is because of extra flow of blood and fluid volume in your body, enlarged breasts and development of the placenta
  4. Medical tests:During your antenatal appointment at this stage, your doctor will call for routine blood pressure, urine and blood tests.
    1. If your doctor sees any kind of abnormalities in your baby, she may advise you to go for an anomaly scan, which is offered to women generally between 18th to 20th week of pregnancy
    2. This test is particularly advisable for women who have a higher risk for Down’s syndrome
  5. Sex drive:Lastly, some women might feel that their libido shoots up at this stage, leading to an increase in sex drive. But this might not be true in all cases. Speak to your doctor about any precautions you might need to take

Nutrition For You During Week 21 Of Pregnancy

How much weight should I gain now?

  1. If you were starting off on an average weight during the onset of your pregnancy, then you should have gained an average of 12 to 14 pounds of weight during this trimester, resulting in a totally of 25 to 25 pounds of weight all throughout the pregnancy
  2. Depending upon whether you have initiated your pregnancy with an overweight or underweight issue, then your caregiver might advise you the right amount of weight you should be gaining by now

How can I keep my weight gain on track?

  1. You can totally keep your weight gain on track by not going all over your food and eating for two
  2. Instead, you should be focused on taking in a minimum of 340 extra calories a day – an ideal guideline on pregnancy weight gain
  3. And yes, the total amount of calories might vary based upon your weight, activity level and if you are carrying twins or more than twins

Nutrition For Your Growing Baby During Week 21 Of Pregnancy

Here are some tips for ensuring your baby gets optimal nutrition:

  1. Load up on fluids: Whenever you sweat during exercising or during any sort of vigorous activity, make it a point to compensate for the sweat loss by taking in more and more of liquids. So, for every half an hour of exercise, be sure to drink upon an extra glass of water or liquid to your daily total.
  2. Iron it up!: Iron is totally important during the 20th week of pregnancy as it helps in forming or producing red blood cells, something your growing and developing body needs in plenty. Also, without having enough quantities of iron in your blood, you might become anemic, which might make you tired often, adding to your susceptibility of illness.
  3. Decrease the intake of these food groups: Anything and everything that adds to your empty calorie woes should be totally ditched. From saturated and trans fats to sweetened beverages and other refined sugars should be best avoided.

20 weeks 2 days Pregnant Nutrition Diet

22 weeks day Pregnant Nutrition Diet

37 weeks 1 day Pregnant Nutrition Diet

Common Worries During Week 21 Of Pregnancy

Here are some common worries that expecting mothers have during this time, and tips to address them:

Eat right, get some exercise and enjoy your pregnancy!

Did these tips on Week 15 of pregnancy help you? Share your feedback with us in the comments section!



3.In boy babies, the testes are still hidden within the pelvic cavity.



4.At 22 weeks the average crown to heel length is 27.8cm (10.9in), and the average weight is 430g (15.2oz).



5.Every bone in your baby’s body now contains bone marrow capable of producing blood cells.



6.The hands move constantly, reaching out to touch the face or clutch at the umbilical cord.


Most moms find second trimester as the most comfortable trimester. They have gotten used to the idea of being pregnant but moving around is still not very difficult. Your baby should now weigh around 400 gms. Do not worry if your baby’s weight is slightly low, each baby’s different. Consult your doctor for more details and advice.

What are you about to experience?

By now you would be able to feel your baby’s movements, and if you are lucky, then even your baby’s kicks. Did you know that you can now also feel your uterus just above your belly button? When you go for your regular check up, your gynaecologist may do a physical exam and press your tummy to check the position of your uterus.

Your baby’s development

By this week your baby will be completely covered with a fine hair called lanugo, which helps hold the vernix caseosa (the thick white substance composed of sebum and  epithelial cells that provides a protective covering for the skin of the fetus). Overall your baby’s skin appears wrinkly, which is because she has not gained enough weight yet.

Changes in you

You may not be surprised to see your belly grow. But did you know you could also experience a size change in your breasts, feet and hands too?


  1. Nasal congestion: It is just not your uterus that swells up during your pregnancy, it is also the mucous membranes of your nose that swells up due to the increasing blood flow.
    1. This might result into severe nose bleeding or congestions, which at times worsens all the more as ad when the pregnancy term continues.
    2. Try a humidifier when you sleep, drink enough liquids in order to keep the passage of nasal moist.
    3. Try saline drops only after your gynecologist approves, and lather on some petroleum jelly around your nostrils to keep it soft and moist.
  2. If you're gaining too much weight: Some women tend to gain a lot of weight quickly during pregnancy, and if that’s the case, it isn’t advisable to skip meals during pregnancy or to go for low-calorie diet.
    1. Instead, make sure to start your day with a breakfast that constitutes of complex carbohydrates, fibers, healthy fats and proteins
    2. Your lunch must constitute of healthy vegetables, lean meat and low-fat dairy products
    3. Skip sugar-loaded desserts, packaged snacks and processed foods for snacks, and instead go for plain yogurts, hummus, nut butters, baby carrot, cucumbers, apples and bananas for healthy evening snack
    4. Drink water instead of drinking soda, and exercise often for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes daily
  3. If you're having a hard time gaining enough weight: In such a scenario, make it a point to drink a glass of milkshake daily to boost your calorie and calcium intake.
    1. Try and consume as much as nutrient-dense foods and eat dried fruits instead of eating a lot of fresh fruits
    2. Snack regularly, as it will help in adding pounds to your waistline
  4. Backaches:As your baby gets bigger,there’s bound to be extra pressure on your lower back curves, resulting in strained back muscles. You can soothe the sore back muscles by getting a warm bath or taking a prenatal massage.
  5. Bleeding gums, sensitive gums or teeth: You might continue to suffer from sensitive teeth or gums during this time.
    1. Often leading to an inflammation of gums, this symptom is not anything to be scared about, as this problem subsides post giving birth to the baby.
    2. But if you simply don’t take good care of your teeth, then you need to worry as gingivitis can leads to an infection of bones and tissues, called periodontitis. This is a condition that is often linked to preeclampsia and premature labor
    3. Maintain a good oral hygiene and brush a minimum of two times in day while gently flossing daily. This will not only help in reducing gum swelling, but it will also help in treating bleeding and soreness

    What Do The Experts Say?

    “You’re four weeks from the midpoint of your pregnancy. You start feeling the baby move any day now. This second trimester is sometimes called the honeymoon phase of pregnancy. You now sleep in a sounder and peaceful manner than before. It is advised to stop sleeping on your back at this time. This means using extra pillows to support your body. Your skin looks shinier (“pregnancy glow”) thanks to all the increased levels of hormones.

    Many women get past the morning sickness phase of their pregnancy around this time. However, other problems such as constipation, heartburn and hemorrhoids may become a problem. Keep constipation at bay by consuming foods with fiber.Avoid very spicy and oily foods to prevent heartburn.”

    Dr. Birbala Rai, M.B.B.S., M.S. in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Senior Consultant at PSRI Hospital, New Delhi

    Seasonal Pregnancy Care

  6. Summer: As your body temperature is already slightly higher, make sure to not add to it as it might put you at the risk of heat exhaustion.
    1. Keep cool by wearing summer-appropriate fabrics, such as cotton, linen. Skip polyester
    2. Bathe often as it will help in keeping your body temperature cooler
    3. Also, do carry a homemade mist made from water, Aloe Vera gel, green tea and mint extract in your bag
  7. Monsoon: Avoid fruits like jackfruits, along with chutney and pickles as it might lead to water retention in your body.
    1. Bathe at least twice a day to keep sweat and grim off
    2. Do make it a point to get your home sanitized right before monsoon
    3. Getting a proper team of pest control to handle this would be a good idea. This will help in killing any sort of mosquitoes, cockroaches, termites and flies
    4. Stay away from pest control smoke as it might interfere with your pregnancy in a not so positive way
  8. Winter: Usually it is observed that pregnant mothers are often overheated and winter can certainly provide a cooling effect on their body and mind.
    1. Tackle dry and itchy skin during winter effectively
    2. Make sure to take proper precautions to stay away from cold and flu
    • Larger nipples and darker areolas: Do not panic if you see a change in the colour of your nipples. The area around your nipples could be getting darker too. Some moms find little bump-like things on their areolas known as Montgomery's tubercles. These are oil-producing glands that help fight off bacteria.
    • Skin changes: Some call it the pregnancy glow and some call it the pregnancy bane. Different women go through different phases – some experience glowing skin, some suffer break outs – either way, nothing to worry as it is just your hormones at work.
    • Swollen hands and feet: Swelling is common in pregnancy.  You can even find a change in your shoe size. You should opt for comfortable shoes, preferably a size up. Also, it’s time to say goodbye to your engagement and wedding rings – let your fingers loose.
    • Braxton Hicks: If you feel irregular, painless, squeezing sensation in your abdomen, this may be Braxton Hicks. Braxton Hicks contractions are described as the contractions that occur before real labor. Braxton Hicks can begin as early as the second trimester.
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This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Dec 28, 2016

Hi!!! I am in the 5 months of pregnancy and just wanted to check whether I can go for movie in theatre, is there any problem to sit for 3 hours continuously in theatre and also will it effect to baby? please share the experiences

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| Jul 27, 2018

really informative,thank you

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| Jul 27, 2020

Is this article on 21 weeks of pregnancy or 16 weeks?? 2 articles seem to have merged!!

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