21 Weeks Pregnant
Here's what's happening during Week 21 of your pregnancy.
Your Growing Baby:
Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long.
Your baby has begun her main project for the rest of your pregnancy: putting on weight. She regularly drinks amniotic fluid for hydration and nutrition, urinates in the fluid and breathes in and out (fortunately, the fluid pool refreshes itself every three hours). Her eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed. Taste buds are forming on her tongue. Her eyelids are still sealed, but her eyes are active.
Your Growing Belly:
Some women report feeling better and more energized at this stage of pregnancy than they have at any point in their life. We hope you're one of them!
To safely build up your endurance for labor and for taking care of your baby later, take long walks outside or on a treadmill, ride a stationary bike or use an elliptical trainer.
To keep your uterus and pelvic-floor muscles toned, do Kegel exercises and have orgasms! If your doctor has told you to avoid sex because you're at risk for preterm labor, ask what he means by "sex" and which acts may be off-limits.
Tips & To-Do's:
Let's Talk (Pregnant) Sex
If you do want to have sex, embrace the ubiquitous three-word Nike slogan. As long as your pregnancy is progressing normally, you can have sex as often as you like (some exceptions may include a history of miscarriage or preterm labor). Be aware that it's pretty common for some women to experience bleeding during intercourse, especially in the first trimester. This is caused by the normal swelling of capillaries in the cervix, which can burst when irritated during sex. While such spotting or bleeding is generally nothing to worry about, you should still mention it to your doctor or midwife. If fears about 'doing it' are stressing you out, here's what you need to know.
Things to think about this week
The benefits of moving more during pregnancy begin immediately and last your whole life. Your baby will start reaping the benefits in utero, too. Here's a laundry list of reasons to start exercising today, along with excuse-busting ways to overcome some common obstacles.
NEW: Listen to Our Week-by-Week Podcast All About Your Pregnancy
Each episode of the new Pregnancy Confidential podcast, hosted by our editors, walks listeners through the physical, emotional and all-round quirks of each week of pregnancy. This is real-talk, girlfriend-to-girlfriend stuff—no hard-to-understand medical information here—taking you through the real feelings of pregnancy so you're never alone. And it'll have you chuckling all along the way. All episodes available now!