21 Weeks pregnant

About 10 inches long, your baby is now about the size of a carrot. There’s a lot of space in the womb for her to move around and kick from time to time. If you haven’t taken the anomaly scan yet, now is the right time to make an appointment. This scan will check for specific risks and will identify the placental position (if possible).

How the baby is developing at 21 weeks

Taste buds are quite developed at this point. Your baby swallows amniotic fluid and its taste depends on what you’ve digested, which means that whatever you eat, your baby will be able to taste it. There is research indicating that babies will have a preference after birth for foods they tasted in utero. That gives you one more reason to eat healthy veggies and fruits.

Your baby has also fully developed fingernails, eyebrows and eyelids. Those glossy images from the scan appointment will start to look better and better.

Your lifestyle and pregnancy symptoms at 21 weeks

Don’t let stress get to you. Take time to relax, have baths and massages and continue with your exercise routine. Whenever you sit or lay down, look for props to keep your legs elevated. This will help diminish leg cramps.

Avoid greasy foods that can cause heartburn and limit your daily calories intake to 500 calories a day. Keep an eye on your weight. You should gain about one pound every week in this trimester. It’s quite common to experience unusual cravings that are unhealthy for you. It helps if you always keep around varied snacks that are healthy substitutes. The key strategy is not to abstain from eating unhealthy foods, but to control your shopping behaviour: don’t buy those junk foods, alcohol and cigarettes in the first place.

Scan appointments at 21 weeks

The anomaly scan is usually taken around 18 to 21 weeks, so if you haven’t went to that yet, schedule an appointment this week. The sonographer will offer you a detailed analysis of the anatomical structures of your baby: limbs, spine, heart and tummy. There are specific risks to look out for at this particular stage, which is why this scan is so important. At the end of the scan, you will receive a detailed report with the analysis. Take it home with you and keep it for reference at other medical appointments. If possible, the placenta position will be identified as well during the anomaly scan.

The growth scan can be taken from 16 to 24 weeks. This week or the next three weeks are just right for taking this scan, as it is more likely for the sonographer to be able to measure your baby from head to toe. Before 21 weeks, your baby could only be measured from head to bottom.

Do you know the baby’s sex yet? You can have a gender scan to find out just that, or you can specify to the sonographer that you want to find out the gender as well during another ultrasound appointment.