21 Weeks Pregnant

Did You Know?
6½-7¼ inches

Height of your baby

10½ ounces

Weight of your baby

grapefruit
21 weeks pregnant

Size of your baby

What’s new this week?
Your Body

Time to go up another bra size? Many women notice their breasts get even va-va-va-voom bigger at this stage in their pregnancy. And don’t freak out if you notice droplets of watery or yellowish fluid leak out now and then. At 21 weeks... Read more

Your Baby

Did you know that your baby has sleep-wake cycles just like you do? If you can now feel your baby moving around, you may have noticed them: She wakes up and wiggles around, then settles in for a nap before repeating the whole process over and over... Read more

Your Life Right Now

One of the biggie decisions you have to make as a mom-to-be is whether or not to breastfeed. If it’s really not your thing, or you aren’t able to for some reason, don’t stress about it. (Have you noticed how insanely advanced... Read more

Moms Like Me / I Wish I Had Known

"I’ve started getting leg cramps again. It's just horrible. When DH holds my foot and pushes it upwards, applying pressure on the ball of the foot, he relieves the cramps in seconds. If he’s not around, I get out of bed and push my... Read more

21 Weeks Pregnant: Your Body

Time to go up another bra size? Many women notice their breasts get even va-va-va-voom bigger at this stage in their pregnancy. And don’t freak out if you notice droplets of watery or yellowish fluid leak out now and then. At 21 weeks pregnant, your body is preparing for breastfeeding (even if you end up not nursing) and that liquid is actually early milk, called colostrum. You can pick up thin pads that slip inside your bra to keep your clothes dry (look for them in the breastfeeding section of the supermarket or baby store). Around this time, you may also begin to feel Braxton-Hicks contractions. No, they’re not real contractions -- labor is still way off. But they are your body’s ingenious way of practicing for the big event. Your uterus contracts and relaxes in a similar way. However, Braxton-Hicks are sporadic, whereas true contractions follow a regular pattern and grow more frequent and intense. Expect these contractions to come and go and feel a bit like period cramps. Later in your pregnancy they may get more intense -- but think passing twinge, not get-me-an-epidural pain.

21 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby

Did you know that your baby has sleep-wake cycles just like you do? If you can now feel your baby moving around, you may have noticed them: She wakes up and wiggles around, then settles in for a nap before repeating the whole process over and over again. Babies tend to be particularly active in the late evening, just when mom is trying to get to sleep. (Sound familiar?) This week, your baby’s bone marrow is beginning to produce blood cells -- her liver and spleen have been handling this job so far. She’s starting to swallow the amniotic fluid she’s floating in and absorbing sugar and water from it. The sugars pass through her digestive system and provide nourishment -- although nowhere near as much as she’s getting from the placenta.

Your Life Right Now

One of the biggie decisions you have to make as a mom-to-be is whether or not to breastfeed. If it’s really not your thing, or you aren’t able to for some reason, don’t stress about it. (Have you noticed how insanely advanced infant formulas have become in recent years?) But if you are considering nursing, here are some things you might want to know. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that new moms breastfeed their babies exclusively until they’ve reached about 6 months (although you can certainly go longer). That’s because research shows that infants who are breastfed this long can get all sorts of great health benefits -- including lower incidence of diarrhea, fewer lower-respiratory, ear and urinary tract infections and a reduced risk for SIDS. There’s also evidence that in babies with a certain gene variant, breastfeeding may increase I.Q. up to nearly seven points over their formula-fed counterparts. Then, of course, there are the benefits you get. Breastfeeding helps you bond with your baby, lowers your risk for breast and ovarian cancers and even speeds weight loss in many new moms -- helping them get down to their pre-pregnancy size faster (nursing women burn about 500 calories more per day -- because of the hard work the body has to do to produce and replenish milk supply). All stuff to keep in mind as the weeks go on.

Moms Like Me / I Wish I Had Known

"I’ve started getting leg cramps again. It's just horrible. When DH holds my foot and pushes it upwards, applying pressure on the ball of the foot, he relieves the cramps in seconds. If he’s not around, I get out of bed and push my foot on the floor using the wall for support." --nik-jan

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I've always been a tummy sleeper myself, but I really like my Snoogle. It goes under my head and between my knees and kinda wraps a little, so it seems to me that it would discourage back sleeping. Plus, it's open on one side so it's not as hot (although now I put an extra pillow under my tummy because I am a whale). --queenalby

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