How Your Baby Grows Inside You: Week 21
The twenty first week is when your pregnancy is well past the halfway mark! Cheers to you mommy-to-be! Your baby now weighs about 400 grams and is approximately 26 cms long - about the length of a medium-sized cucumber.
Your baby’s movements are like a ballet dancer’s - gentle and soft but they do not have any definitive pattern yet. Infact, your husband is probably still waiting to feel the first flurry of kicks. So for now, the privilege of feeling your baby is solely yours!
Signs and Symptoms
The uterus has now crossed the belly button and is pushing the stomach upwards towards the ribs. This may cause heartburn or acidity.
You can ask your doctor to prescribe some antacids for relief. Make sure you eat small meals and avoid fried food as heavy and oily food is the main cause of acidity.
As the uterus grows, it will create pressure on the rectum causing the blood vessels around the area to swell and manifest as piles. And piles can be very painful.
Make sure that you do not get constipated by eating foods rich in fibre. Light exercises like going for a walk on a daily basis can help keep this discomfort away.
Adding a little exercise to your routine will also help take care of other common pregnancy discomforts like acidity and cramps in the legs.
You are not too big at this stage so you might still find it comfortable and easy to move about. Make the most of this phase of pregnancy and plan outings, vacations or any other commitments that you would like to finish.
You might feel extremely emotional at small little things and then wonder why this is happening. Relax, it’s just your hormones. Whenever you feel particularly weepy, switch your thoughts to something happier.
Watch out for any kind of fluid retention or swelling especially in your hands and face. Swelling might be touted as a very common pregnancy symptom, but this could be a sign of protein buildup in the urine which is an early warning sign of preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a life threatening condition which develops in the second half of pregnancy so its warning signs must be taken seriously. Always report any kind of rash or swelling to your doctor.
Old Wives’ Tales
Many pregnant women are told to stay indoors and not chop any vegetables during a solar or lunar eclipse. It is said that this could cause the developing baby to develop a cleft lip or lose her/his eyesight.
There is no scientific evidence to support this, but if you wish to follow these precautions, there is no harm. If you are indeed outdoors, just be assured that an eclipse will not cause your baby any trauma.
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