Pregnancy Week 21
Week 21 of pregnancy ensures a developing digestive system for the fetus. Swallowing amniotic fluid helps strengthen the digestive system and prepare it for milk after birth. The intestines begin to contract and release at this point. No longer than 7 inches and about 10 ounces, the babyís nervous system and organs are continually developing. It is also putting on layers of fat over itís newly hardened bones. Once the digestive system becomes active, hiccups are a prominent part of the fetusís life inside the womb. Although some babies hiccup more than others, hiccups are completely natural and normal. Although the baby can still move about freely during week 21, soon it will settle itself into a head down position and stay that way until birth. The baby also engages in a regular sleeping cycle much like the one it will have after birth.
To prevent leg pain during this week and throughout the rest of the pregnancy, maternity support hose are a great idea. They ill also keep down swelling and help prevent varicose veins by encouraging blood circulation throughout the legs. Although not as comfortable as before, week 21 is still a mobile time for pregnant women. Stretching and regular exercise can help alleviate minor discomforts due to pain during pregnancy. Week 21 symptoms include breast changes, recurrent urination, constipation, heartburn, headaches, stretch marks, itching, and round ligament pains.
Although more emotionally stable than before, post delivery emotions can vary greatly from mother to mother. Referred to as ďthe baby blues,Ē many mothers feel anxiety and restlessness after delivery. They might feel depressed and tired. These symptoms are normal and should pass within a few days of delivery. However, if the symptoms persist or worsen, an even more dangerous condition called Post Partum Depression might ensue. PPD can lead to thoughts of suicide and the inability of a mother to take care of the newborn child. If this occurs, it is important to keep in mind that treatment does exist and will help. Women prone to PPD include women who are coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, single mothers, families with financial troubles, women experiencing stress or loss, and women with a background of depression.
Pregnancy Week 20 | Pregnancy Week 22