21 weeks: Pregnancy tips and nutrition
Things are getting more interesting as your baby’s senses start to develop. Baby’s taste buds and baby’s sense of smell are detecting the same things as you through your amniotic fluid. Maybe you love curry? Maybe she will too.
At a glance
Any excuse for a foot massage? It helps reduce cramps in your swollen calves and legs
Eating five smaller meals a day can keep your pregnancy indigestion at bay
Drink water and wear a slight heel to improve circulation and leg muscle tone
Baby will have a sweet tooth even before she has teeth
Baby's development at 21 weeks pregnant
Your baby at 21 weeks is now the size of a scrumptious carrot. Her senses have developed enough to pick up the aromatic molecules from the things you eat, drink and even smell as they pass to baby through your amniotic fluid. By the time your little one is born, her sense of smell will identify your skin, your milk, and her taste buds will enjoy things with a sweet taste (because amniotic fluid is slightly sweet). The most amazing bit is that baby will be partial to your favourite foods in late pregnancy too. Soon her brain will be mature enough to memorise sensory experiences, so your eating habits can train baby to like what you like. She can also hear now so it’s a great time to get her into your favourite bands.
Changes in you and your body at 21 weeks pregnant
Everything grows during pregnancy, belly, breasts and even your neck. If you’re feeling a bit tight around the collar, it’s because your thyroid glands have started to swell, which is totally normal. As with so many things in pregnancy, it varies from one woman to another. You might not notice any difference and in any case, your neck should return to normal after you give birth – so don’t give away those gorgeous blouses just yet.
Nutrition at 21 weeks pregnant
Feeling the burn? Pregnancy indigestion is very common and for some mums it can cause daily discomfort. This is because those good old pregnancy hormones make the upper stomach opening looser, so it’s easier for stomach acid to get into the oesophagus which causes that burning feeling. The bigger your baby, the more it presses on the stomach, and the more likely you are to experience heartburn.
Fear not, here are a few tips to fight the burn:
- Eat five small meals a day, instead of three large ones
- Eat slower and chew every mouthful properly
- Feel the burn at night? Prop your head with extra pillows so the acid doesn’t rise
How to boost your circulation at 21 weeks pregnant
Heavy legs? Poor circulation could be the culprit, that’s because blood flow increases by nearly 50% during pregnancy putting extra strain on your veins and vessels.
Here are a few tips to help those poor pins:
- Drink at least two litres of water a day
- Try and fit in a half hour walk each day
- Wear a slight heel to maintain muscle tone in your legs
- Sleep on your left side with your legs elevated to relieve the pressure of baby lying on your larger blood vessels
- Spray cold water on the backs of your legs when you’re in the shower: refreshing and effective