Your baby at 21 weeks
From now on your baby will be measured crown to heel (not to rump as before). A 21 week fetus is 10.5 inches (27 cm) in length and must be weighing somewhere around 12.7 ounces (360 grams). If you are having a 21 week ultrasound and the measurements don’t concur don’t worry. These numbers may vary, depending on the baby. It’s not like it’s set in stone.
As I said before, your baby is now in a rapid growth stage and is starting to gain weight really fast. What is new is that a fetus at 21 weeks is starting to build up some fat. That way, when he or she will be born will look like that Michelin guy from that tires commercial.
A 21 week old fetus has the eyebrows and eyelids fully formed by now and the baby can actually blink, but don’t think you will be able to see it. Not yet, at least. Also, the taste buds are formed and they function properly. Believe it or not, your baby can taste different flavors, depending on what you are eating and what’s entering the amniotic fluid. That may seem kind of yucky, since the baby pees in there, but that’s how things work now, so don’t think too much about it.
What is really great is that the baby’s bone marrow begins to function so it’s starting to produce blood cells. Don’t think that the baby had no blood cells until now, but this job was done by the liver and the spleen. Also, the small intestine is starting to absorb sugars, which is very good. It will help your baby grow stronger. Carbs may not do a good job on you, but your baby needs them, especially now.
If, by any chance, you are having a 21 weeks pregnant ultrasound, ask the technician for the baby’s head measurements. Based on this piece of information he can determine the date of birth within a week. For your information, the baby’s head is about 2 inches (5 cm). Your baby’s head is the size of a plum. That’s pretty small, isn’t it?
The important thing is that your baby is healthy and comfy and that he or she is growing big and strong. At some point in your pregnancy, whether is now or way to the end, you will want to keep it in your womb. For you, there is no other place safer. I’ve seen online that a lot of women ask about the chance of survival of a premature baby. As for now, I don’t mean to be gloomy, but I must say that a baby born at 21 weeks has no chance of survival, mainly because his/her lungs aren’t developed enough. The earliest a baby can be delivered and stand a chance at life is 24 weeks. Some say is 22 weeks. The point is that the more time the baby spends in the womb, the better. You shouldn’t bother yourself with questions of this sort. You would cross that bridge if you ever came to it. But honestly, I hope you have a smooth pregnancy.
Oh, did you know that your baby is covered in a whitish kind of coat made of a slick, fatty substance? You will be able to see it shortly after you give birth. That whitish layer is there to protect your baby’s skin in amniotic fluid and it will ease delivery. There’s a win for you too!
If you are having a boy, you should know that his testes are descending from his abdomen this week, but they will not produce semen until he reaches puberty.
Mommy at 21 weeks
Now, regarding you, you should think about signing up for some antenatal classes. They will help you a lot. You will meet a lot of other new mommies, which is really nice. You will be surrounded by people who know exactly what you are going through, which may prove to be a healthy thing for you. You can share ideas and experiences. You will also have a lot of fun, trust me. But, apart from socializing, you will learn about pain relief during labor, breathing techniques and delivery options. It can be very educational. So go for it!
I know I mentioned in a previous post that your baby can hear you, but I would like to emphasize the importance of talking to him or her. There are a lot of women who find themselves chatting with their baby all day long, reading books or even singing nursery songs. You may even find that there are some songs that make your baby super active. This is crucial for your baby. You may wonder “What does he/she knows? He/She’s just a baby” Well, you are wrong. This will not only help the baby after birth, but will also help you. You will get to sooth your baby much easier, as he or she will recognize your voice and will feel safe.
You can even have the dad or partner talk to your baby during pregnancy. They say that a woman becomes a mother the moment she finds out she is pregnant, but a man becomes a father when he first holds his baby. Talking to your baby, the dad or partner can bond with him or her before birth. It will be a great opportunity for them to get “acquainted”. Moreover, he will also be able to sooth the baby easier, which would be awesome for you when you are really tired and you want a whole night’s sleep. So there’s another win for you! Other than this, I hope that pregnancy at 21 weeks treats you well.
Take care of yourself! And the bump!