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Week 21

How Big is the Baby at 21 Weeks Pregnant?

By pregnancy week 21 your baby now weighs over 10 ounces and is a little larger than 7 inches long or about the length of a full banana by now! Your baby will continue to grow at a remarkable pace as you continue your pregnancy week by week.

Your Baby's Growth and Development

By pregnancy 21 weeks your baby's growth has now slowed somewhat though your baby is still growing and developing at a remarkable pace. At pregnancy week 21 your baby's organs and central nervous system are still developing and maturing. Your baby's skin continues to develop and mature as well.

Though not fully matured or developed, your baby's digestive system is also working minimally at pregnancy 21 weeks. The intestines are slowly starting to contract and relax during pregnancy at 21 weeks, and your baby is able to swallow and absorb fluids through the amniotic fluid at 21 weeks pregnant.

Though it seems unusual that your baby may swallow amniotic fluid, this actually helps mature the digestive system.

At some point in your pregnancy, you might actually start noticing that your baby has started hiccupping. Believe it or not, hiccupping in utero is actually quite common, and typically not a sign that your baby is in distress. Fetal hiccups typically begin sometime during the second trimester. You may notice hiccups as a small, repetitive and rhythmic movement that occurs for a few minutes at a time in your belly. Many women actually enjoy the sensation of their baby's hiccups because it reminds them that all is well with their newborn baby.

Some babies will hiccup more than others. Whereas one mom might only notice her baby hiccup on occasion, another might notice their baby hiccup more than 5 times a day.

Your Growth and Development

While you are growing during pregnancy week 21, your abdomen is still a size that is quite manageable and allows a great deal of movement and freedom. Many women enjoy the second trimester and consider it the honeymoon of pregnancy.

Changes in You

You may be noticing aches and pains in your leg during or after 21 weeks pregnant. Just as with varicose veins, discussed in previous weeks, support stockings can help alleviate leg heaviness and aches during pregnancy. Try putting your maternity support hose on first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. This will help alleviate unnecessary swelling and discomfort in your legs.

Also consider propping your feet up when sitting if you don't already do so. Another way to alleviate aches and pains is regular exercise and stretching. Consider a 15-minute stretch and walk during your lunch break or once in the morning and once during the afternoon. This will go a long way toward alleviating aches and pains.

Typically more than half of all women will get stretch marks during their pregnancy anytime during pregnancy at 22 weeks, before or after. They may form on the breasts, inner thighs, waist and abdomen as your body expands to accommodate your growing baby. Typically stretch marks vary in color from white, to pink or purple and even dark brown depending on your skin color. Many women believe that religious application of lotion will prevent stretch marks from forming, but even the most enthusiastic moisturizer may find themselves laden with stretch marks.

Whether or not you develop stretch marks is largely genetically determined. Check out your mother's belly. If she has a lot of stretch marks, chances are you may too. The good news is most stretch marks do fade in the months following delivery. Even the most intense stretch marks become lighter after birth. Many women wear their stretch marks with pride, as a sign of the amazing feat the accomplished creating and carrying life for nine months.

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