Pregnant woman and her partner sitting on the sofa, the partner has his ear against the woman's bump

Pregnancy Weeks

Pregnancy week 21

Pregnancy Feels Good

This is a time when many pregnant women feel great. One reason for this is that pregnancy-related problems are no longer (or not yet) significant and most women feel the baby move regularly – and that feels good. We explain here why your baby is now probably going through a huge growth spurt and now you are 21 weeks pregnant!

What's going on inside you at 21 weeks pregnant?

The size of the foetus is around 25 cm (from crown to heel!) and it weighs approx. 300-350 grams. This size is now no longer specified as a crown-rump length, but as an overall length from head to feet – this explains the huge leap from around 14 cm in the 20th week of pregnancy to a full 25 cm in pregnancy week 21! The diameter of the head is approx. 5 cm.

Your baby is now roughly the size of an artichoke.

Your baby is now roughly the size of an artichoke.

How is the size of the baby measured by ultrasound?

By now, your baby is too big to fit on an ultrasound image. So a "trick" is used to measure the size and weight of your baby: measurements are taken of the femurs, diameter of the head and girth of the abdomen. These values can be used to calculate all the other measurements – naturally there is always some estimation in these values. You will only really find out the size and weight of your little one when they are born.

What's happening to the baby in pregnancy week 21?

  • The sleep-wake cycle is slowly becoming established. As a result, the baby may already have a preferred sleeping position.
  • There is also further development in facial expressions and the eyelids are fully formed.
  • With the appearance of eyelashes and eyebrows, the face finally appears to be fully developed.
  • The baby's kidneys now take over the production of the amniotic fluid from the placenta.
  • The structures for the milk teeth are fully developed in the jawbone. Incidentally, it is very rare for babies to be born with teeth. Most children do not cut their first tooth until they are six months old.

How Do You Feel at 21 Weeks Pregnant?

Most pregnant women feel great. However, some pregnancy-related problems may arise, if only now and then.

Because your baby is now constantly gaining weight, your bump will also be getting bigger and the skin may become stretched or itchy. A bit of pampering can feel particularly good after a bath or shower. Stretch marks are often something that a woman is predisposed to or can arise when weight gain is rapid – massaging cream into the abdomen can help to alleviate them. Once stretch marks have appeared, they will not go away, as they are actually small tears in the skin that have formed a scar. However, they usually fade with time until they are barely visible. When using skincare products, pay attention to their ingredients and be aware that not everything is suitable for pregnant women.

Your own weight gain will also have an impact on the increasing size of your abdomen. You may gain an average of around 4.5 to 7 kg. However, there is no need to worry if you have put on more or less weight than this. However much weight you may put on depends on how much you weighed to begin with. If you have any doubts or concerns, speak to your midwife or doctor.

More baby and a bigger bump also mean that your body's centre of gravity shifts. This unfamiliar load can lead to back pain. Gentle keep-fit exercises, easy strengthening exercises and/or pregnancy yoga can alleviate the burden and relax any tense muscles. Most importantly, later in your pregnancy, your back will thank you for wearing comfortable, flat shoes.

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