Pregnant woman and her partner sitting on the couch, the partner has his ear against the woman's stomach

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 more, now that you are 21 weeks pregnant.

What's Going On in Your Belly at 21 Weeks Pregnant?

The fetus is around 10 inches long (from crown to heel!) and it weighs approx. 10-12 ounces. 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 5.5 inches in the 20th week of pregnancy to a full 10 inches in pregnancy week 21!  The diameter of the head is approx. 2 inches.

Your baby is now about the size of an artichoke.

Your baby is now about the size of an artichoke.

How is the size of the baby measured in an ultrasound scan?

By now, your baby is too big to fit on an ultrasound image. So here’s a "trick" 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 other measurements – although these figures are just an estimate. You will only find out the true 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 is looking increasingly well-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 symptoms may arise every once in a while.

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 they can arise when weight gain is rapid – moisturizer and massages 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 10 to 15 lbs. However, there is no need to worry if you have put on more or less weight than this. The weight you put on depends on how much you weighed to begin with. If you have any concerns, we recommend speaking to your doctor.

A bigger baby and a bigger bump also mean that your body's center of gravity shifts. This unfamiliar load can lead to back pain. Gentle exercise, light strength training, and/or pregnancy yoga can ease the strain and relax tense muscles. Most importantly, later on in your pregnancy, your back will thank you for wearing comfortable, flat shoes.


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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