Pregnancy Calendar Week 21 – Varicose Veins Is More Noticeable

Pregnancy Calendar Week 21 – Varicose Veins Is More Noticeable

You have cross the halfway milestone of your pregnancy and things are now going quite differently. From symptoms such as morning sickness to increase sex drive, leg cramps and round ligament pain, you are steadily crossing every step fearlessly. Read more what your baby is doing this week besides your bodily changes.

Week 21

Getting closer to the day you meet your wonderful gift of God is really exciting. At 21st week, you have now started to feel a life nurturing inside. It is also the good time to sort out list of names and choose the one you think perhaps the best for your baby.

Your body this week

Pregnant belly and bodyweight

Your bulging belly would be the new center of attraction wherever you go. But at the same time, the newfound curve is sexy and induces confidence. As usual, the belly is expanding at its natural pace and also putting extra kilos to your overall bodyweight. If you haven’t started wearing maternity clothes, you must be doing so in order to avoid those attracting eyes.

Week by week you are adding around half a kg of weight and this could be fair sign of healthy development. By this time you would have gained 6.5kgs and about 9kgs of weight if you are carrying twins.

Typical symptoms

The bump is not the only thing that is getting bigger this week, most pregnant women at this stage might also notice swelling in the legs and feet. While swelling can occur at any time during pregnancy, it might escalate at this point. This occurs due to increased blood flow and excess of fluid.

But sometimes hormonal changes and disrupted blood flow can cause blue or purple lines appear on the legs. This is called as varicose veins and it can be painless or painful, depending on the case. Moreover, if the varicose veins occur in the vulva or rectum, it can be a sign of hemorrhoids.

Other symptoms continue to be the part of your pregnancy including:

Complications at 21st week

As the pregnancy progresses, urinary tract infections will become a common phenomenon. This occurs mostly due to pressure of the extra weight of the uterus on to the bladder which can hinder urine flow. Uterus might also feel a bit tight as it practices for the upcoming labor.

And this may create false alarms for early labor also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. However, this is totally normal and there is no need to worry about.

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Your baby this week

If you are lacking excitement about your bodily changes, just think about all the amazing things going inside. It is the baby for which all this things are happening. Your baby is going through following changes during this week:

Eyes development

Baby’s eyebrows, eyelashes are forming while the eyelids development is finished. The iris is yet to get its color.

Digestive system

The placenta continues to supply majority of nutrients to the baby. However, starting this week, the intestines of the baby have now formed enough to start absorbing nutrients from the amniotic fluid your baby regularly swallows. The prepping up of the digestive system also result in meconium production, a tarry thick lack substance you will get to see on baby’s first diaper.

Reproductive system

The preparation for the future grandchildren has started. It might sound weird but it’s true. The reproductive system is rapidly developing and the baby-to-be girl is already holding a large supply of about 6 million eggs. On the flipside, if it’s a boy then the tested will located in the abdomen will drop in upcoming weeks.

Size, weight and appearance

As you have already crossed the halfway mark, your little one too is progressing rapidly with the length now reaching to 8.5 inch. The baby now appears to be a size of a carrot and weighs about 340 grams.

Healthy eating

Having a nutritious and balanced diet is the prime requirement this time. Especially, you will be requiring more iron as your body is producing a lot more blood cells. So you iron reserves should not fall low else you will become anemic which could create other complications. Your food list at this stage should include:

  1. Red meat, fish and spinach are some of the great iron food sources.
  2. Fruit such as watermelons, grapes and lemons should be included for getting adequate vitamin C
  3. Whole foods such as eggs, beans and oatmeal are some of the best options if you are concerned about obesity

Expecting dads

Pregnant women will be at a risk of getting urinary tract infections, especially till week 24. So help her avoid getting any potentially serious infections. Both of you always get a shower before engaging in sexual intercourse. At the same time, also encourage her to visit toilet before and after sex.

Moreover, start joining her in attending baby classes, this will show to your partner that you are taking your baby seriously.

Screening

If you are one of those who are due for the prenatal appointment this week, you might notice that the doctor would be using a new term CHL. This is actually a measurement term given to baby’s length from crown to heel; earlier it was CRL or crown to rump.

By any point of time at this stage you experience vaginal bleeding, you must inform this to your doctor without delay. Late pregnancy bleeding might point towards cervical insufficiency or placenta previa.

Tips for the week

By this time, you must learn to deal with the common issues including heartburn and back pain. Below tips will help you address these issues among others:

  1. Stretch your muscles and leg to prevent cramps. Change your position as and when necessary.
  2. Ask your doctor about whooping cough vaccination. Pregnant women are highly recommended to take this vaccination at this point.
  3. Continue drinking 12 glasses of water every day
  4. Take plenty of rest and put stress at bay
  5. Sleep on the left side of your body

FAQs at 21st week of pregnancy

My legs and feet are swelling too much, what can I do?

Swelling is a common pregnancy symptom at this point of time. This is due to extra blood flow and surge of hormones. Spruce up your fluid intake and also intake of foods rich in potassium. These measures would surely help you even out swelling to some extent.

Does stretch marks increases with the weight?

About half of the pregnant women get stretch marks. Yes, the chances of stretch marks also increase if you pack a lot of weight during pregnancy. So keep a tab on your weight or talk to a doctor for tips on healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

Sources

1. Urinary tract infection during pregnancy. (2017). read more
2. The Nemours Foundation. Kidshealth.org. Pregnancy Calendar, Week 21 read more
3. National Women's Health Resource Center. Healthywomen.org. Pregnancy & Parenting Second Trimester of Pregnancy: 21 Weeks 
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