Pregnancy Week 21

How big is your baby?
From this week on we can measure the baby from head to heel. It will now be around10.51 inches (26.7cm ) and will weigh 12.70 ounces (360g).

How big are you?
Your uterus should now be about 1cm above your bellybutton this week. By this weekyour waist line would have completely disappeared and friends, family and even strangerswill know that you are pregnant.

How is your baby developing and growing
Your baby’s digestive system is already functioning in a simple way. At thisstage your baby can swallow amniotic fluid, absorb much of the water in it and thenpass the unabsorbed matter as far as the large bowel.

As mentioned above, your baby is already swallowing fluids, it is believed thatswallowing of amniotic fluid may actually help with growth, development and willcondition the digestive system to function normally after birth. The amniotic fluidwhich surrounds your baby, and your baby is using to practice swallowing and digestionis actually replaced every 3-4 hours.

Over the first three days of this week your babys legs will reach their final proportions.You may notice that when your baby is born that their arms and legs look “short”.This is normal, and their proportions will begin to change when they move to startcrawling and walking.

Your babys heart has continued to develop and is now beating strong enough thatit could easily be heard with a stethoscope. So, at your next visit to your healthcare provider be sure to ask if you can have a listen.

Your Nutrition
Many women experience food cravings during theirpregnancy and some don’t experience any cravings at all. This, of course, can beboth good and bad, obviously it is be good if you crave nutritious foods and badif you crave non-nutritious foods like sweets and chocolates.

No one really can say for sure why a woman craves specific foods during pregnancy,but is more than likely brought about by all the hormonal and emotional changes she undergoes during pregnancy.

If you do find yourself craving foods that are not of any nutritional value, bevery careful not to overindulge! Rather look for healthy alternatives to junk foods that will benefit your baby and you – as wellas satisfy your cravings.

This Week with Dr Miriam Stoppard

Drinking Fluids
It is important that you continue to drink fluids over the course of your pregnancy,as this will also help replace the amniotic fluid which you baby is using. Juicesare good sources of fluid, as they contain additional nutritional value. Try andaim for a fruit juice which is 50% juice if you cannot find a good 100% fruit juice.

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Pregnancy Week 21