21 Weeks Pregnant: Baby is as big as an endive!

21 Weeks Pregnant: Baby is as big as an endive!

Week 21 at a glance

21 weeks pregnant is full of heart: heartbeats, heartburn, and heart-bursting kicks.

It also means you’ve reached the halfway mark ‒ and things are seriously heating up in that belly of yours.

Let’s take a look at what’s going on inside that 21 weeks pregnant belly.

In this article: 📝

  • Week 21 at a glance
  • Baby development at 21 weeks
  • Pregnancy symptoms at 21 weeks
  • Pregnancy tips at 21 weeks

Baby development at 21 weeks

Those 21 weeks pregnant ultrasounds can be gob-smackingly exhilarating.

You’re at the midway mark.

This is really happening ‒ and your little squirt is starting to look like they may just be human after all.

They have eyelids that are starting to separate and everything!

A 21-week-old fetus is about 10.5 inches from top to toe.

At 10.5 inches, your 21 week fetus is also just a little shorter than a bottle of wine.

(Okay, fine. That’s the last time we bring up wine. Note taken.)

Here’s what your doc will be checking for:

  • Their heartbeat. If it feels like the heart of your 21 week fetus is making yours skip a beat, there’s a reason for that. Yup, your baby’s heart is beating at a whopping 120 to 160 beats a minute. That’s almost double the speed of yours. Look at it go!
  • The structure of their organs.
  • The size of your 21 week fetus.
  • Whether any anomalies are present.
  • How many fetuses are actually in there. (If twins or triplets had been suspected, you’ll know for sure at this point.)

Your 21 week old fetus is also developing their digestive system ‒ something you’re sure to know an awful lot about in a few months’ time.

They’re also learning to swallow, taking in amniotic fluid and absorbing it through the ever-expanding small intestine.

How many kicks should you feel at 21 weeks?

The short answer is 10 kicks in about a 2-hour span.

Now, of course, this is by no means a hard and fast rule ‒ and the number of kicks has no bearing on whether you’re giving birth to a future soccer star, or someone who will concoct creative excuses to skip gym class for the rest of their days.

But, counting those kicks is important ‒ simply so that you can figure out your version of normal.

The more in tune you are with what’s happening in that 21 weeks pregnant belly of yours, the easier it will be to notice if anything feels a little off.

(Also important to note that kicks don’t have to be whoppers. They can be little squirms. The tricky part is distinguishing them from hiccups!)

How long do babies sleep in the womb at 21 weeks?

Your little one is having their first taste of the joys of sleep.

With all that kicking action, a 21-week-old fetus needs their rest ‒ around 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day.

Sounds like a pretty nice life in there.

Pregnancy symptoms at 21 weeks

So, at 21 weeks pregnant, you’re over the exhausting first trimester, and you’re not quite in the differently exhausting third trimester.

That doesn’t mean you get away scot-free, however.

This phase comes with all sorts of its own fun.

At 21 weeks pregnant, you might be in line for:

  • Heartburn. Not great. If heartburn and indigestion are getting in your way, you may want to jot down what you eat every day so that you can eliminate any culprits.
  • Pretend contractions. What? Already? Maybe. You might feel what are known as Braxton Hicks contractions. It’s just your body getting into shape for labor. While this is a common experience at 21 weeks pregnant, always talk to your healthcare practitioner if you’re concerned in any way.
  • Your breasts are open for business. Your whole body seems to be in practice mode ‒ and your breasts might just join the party about now by starting to leak.
  • Stretch marks. There is such pressure to have all sorts of negative feelings about this very normal bodily response (affecting up to 88% of pregnant women, in fact!) to the rather magical thing that’s happening inside you. Think of them as a reminder of the awesome thing your body did ‒ it’s impressive, mama!

Pregnancy tips at 21 weeks

You’ve made it to 21 weeks, and that’s something to celebrate!

Here are some tips to keep you and your little one happy and healthy:

  • Get baby’s nursery sorted. Not sure where to start? We’ve got lots of nursery decor inspo.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drinking enough water is essential to help ease those pesky pregnancy symptoms, like cramps and nausea. And it’s recommended to drink an extra 300ml of water per day during pregnancy, too. So, keep that water bottle handy and sip away!
  • Moisturize that bump! As your bump grows, so does the itchiness and stretch marks. But don’t worry, a good moisturizer can help ease those itchy sensations and minimize those pesky stretch marks.
  • Keep those appointments coming! You may have an ultrasound coming up, so be sure to have that scheduled, to keep an eye on any potential “fetal abnormalities”. You also don’t want miss out on any chance to see your babe grow and develop.
  • Don’t forget those prenatal vitamins! We know they may not be the tastiest, but they’re super important for you and baby’s health. Check out our guide for the best prenatal vitamins.
  • Fuel your body with a balanced diet. Not sure where to start? No worries, we’ve got you covered with a complete pregnancy meal plan!
  • Start making those birth plans! Whether you want a home birth or a hospital birth, start jotting down your preferences. And remember, sometimes things don’t go as planned, but that’s okay too.
  • Consider a birthing doula. If you’re interested, start researching now. Doulas can get booked up fast!
  • Babymoon, anyone? A relaxing getaway before baby arrives can be just what you need. Plan ahead and enjoy some much-needed R&R.
  • Stock up on those cute maternity clothes! Don’t get caught without anything to wear as your bump grows. Treat yourself to some comfy and stylish maternity clothes.
  • Sleep on your side, not your back! This helps ensure proper blood and oxygen flow to your growing babe.
  • Start planning for your maternity leave if you’re working. It may seem early, but time flies when you’re growing a human!

Beyond this, you may be feeling all sorts of things, from insatiably hungry to constantly blissful to just. Plain. Weird.

Do what you need to do to stay sane.

This may be a good time to reach out to other mamas-to-be out there — you could even find your Bump Buddy!

Nothing like being in it together!


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