Pregnancy Week 21

Find out what is going on in your belly during week 21. Also discover why your sex life and relationship with your partner might be adjusting slightly.

Week by week baby size image. Week by week baby size image.

How big is baby?

Your baby is as long as a carrot, and his skin now responds to touch. If you put pressure on your belly, he'll move away or push back.

Baby's Length: 10.51in.
Baby's Weight: 12.70oz.
Fetus at Week 21 What the baby looks like at week 21 of fetal development. Med ART Studios Explore More

Baby's Development

Part of your baby's growth spurt at this point is likely because his stomach is now equipped to start absorbing energy-boosting nutrients from the amniotic fluid he's swallowing in there. Most of your baby's nourishment is still coming directly from the placenta, though.

Baby Week 21

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At about 12 ounces the developing fetus closely resembles a miniature version of a fully developed person, but is still able to fit in the palm of your hand.To stay warm your developing fetus is developing body fat and a thin layer of hair called lanugo.Your developing fetus now often hiccups as a means to practice breathing and swallows amniotic fluid in order to practice eating.
Week by week baby ultrasound image. Week by week baby ultrasound image. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine - AIUM.org

Week 21 Ultrasound

This profile image not only shows how your baby-to-be's bones and skeletal structures are forming, but also his lungs. Looking at his chest, the sonographer can identify the heart and lung tissue.

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Watch Baby's Growth

Feeling Baby Move: Weeks 18 to 21 of Pregnancy

Mom's changing body

When you look in the mirror these days, what do you see? Sexy curves or, well, Shamu? It's unlikely that you'll feel great about your body all the time -- every woman has at least one of those "Oh, my gosh, what's happening to me?" moments during pregnancy. But let us state the obvious: You are not fat -- you are pregnant! These nine months are a tiny little blip in the radar of your life, and you'll have your pre-baby body back (or at least something close to it) soon enough. In the meantime, appreciate your newfound voluptuousness. Show off your belly with a fitted T-shirt instead of hiding it under a tented top. And, hey, there's nothing wrong with flashing a little of that amazing new cleavage.

Weekly Tip

Feeling stressed? Be sure to take time to unwind, get enough sleep and fit regular exercise into your schedule now. Chronic high levels of stress and anxiety can have adverse effects on your pregnancy, including premature birthand low birth weight. Don't get too worried about worrying, though. Major life events such as a death in the family are more likely to have an impact on the baby than, say, getting stuck in traffic.

Pregnancy Confidential Podcast

The Weird and Unnecessary Advice You Get When Pregnant (And How to Totally Ignore It)

It's Week 21 of your pregnancy and you're finally getting the hang of this business of being with child. You might even have a good idea of what kind of parent you'll be (a good one, duh). But just as you start to gain some confidence as a mom-­to-­be, you're knocked down again by the lady in line at Subway who questions whether your choice of sandwich is appropriate for your condition. Congrats! You have a bump and it's officially open-­season for anyone and everyone to give you baseless, unsolicited advice and nosy questions. In this episode, we'll discuss the worst we've heard and how to deflect criticism with panache.

This Week's To-Do List

Must-Reads

Understanding Braxton Hicks Contractions

Are you in labor or are you merely experiencing practice contractions or Braxton Hicks contractions? Find out how to tell the difference -- and what to expect.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Breastfeeding

Just mention the word breastfeeding and suddenly everyone from your mother to the woman who waxes your eyebrows has some insight to offer. (Try cabbage leaves! Wait to pump! Pump from the very start!) Still, there's a whole heck of a lot nobody tells you about nursing. Read on for the honest truth from experts, and most important, fellow moms.

Writing a Birth Plan

Map out your ideal childbirth experience.

Feeling Baby Move: Weeks 18 to 21 of Pregnancy

You'll start feel your baby's fluttering movements (called quickening) between now and 22 weeks. Get ready, mama: Feeling him kick is one of the most magical parts of being pregnant.

Bleeding During Pregnancy Sex: Should You Worry?

Expert advice for one mom-to-be who worries about vaginal bleeding after sex and the potential risk for miscarriage.

The Inside Story: Your Baby in Week Twenty-One

As your baby continues to develop, she is becoming increasingly aware of your activities.