Your Baby is the size of a


If you feel a small, pulsing jump, this steady beat could be your little one with a case of the hiccups! As your baby grows larger, these movements become stronger. As of this week, your little one swallows and digests a little amniotic fluid each day. Your hormone levels have also plateaued, allowing you to enjoy more mood stability throughout the day.

Week 21

Length : 26.7 cm

Weight : 360 g

Week 21
Length : 26.7 cm
Weight : 360 g

Your Baby is the size of a


If you feel a small, pulsing jump, this steady beat could be your little one with a case of the hiccups! As your baby grows larger, these movements become stronger. As of this week, your little one swallows and digests a little amniotic fluid each day. Your hormone levels have also plateaued, allowing you to enjoy more mood stability throughout the day.

This week, your big carrot baby continues to grow and develop quickly. The hair on their scalp is a bit more visible, and their eyelashes and eyebrows are growing in.

But because life on the outside gets legit, sans placenta...

As of this week, your little one swallows and digests a little amniotic fluid daily. This is nothing more than practice for post-birth swallowing and digestion. Your little one receives all their necessary fluids and nutrition from the placenta, and the swallowed amniotic fluid is as good as adding a small side of House Salad to your baby’s overall hydration and nourishment.

By week 21, many expectant parents notice whenever the little kicks to their abdominal wall start and stop. Before you spend one more squirrelly minute transfixed in some pose with hands - your hands, your partner's hands, that random passerby's hands - pressed omnipresently to your baby bump... waiting... for... one... more... kick... or worrying about why your little one isn't kicking anymore, take a deep breath and feel free to remind everyone the good manners police say to keep their hands to themselves.

Your little one now sleeps and wakes at regular intervals. If you're curious and not too distracted or overwhelmed by everything else, note when your baby is full of zip. How much time passes before the little movements turn quiet again? Do you see a pattern?

If you have multiples, the answer is yes: your babies kick each other when they move around inside you. But don't worry! In utero, they are protected by the elastic membrane that separates them.

And while we're still talking about fetal movements...

At 21 weeks, your baby can get the hiccups! If you feel a slight, pulsing jump, this steady beat could be your little one with a case of the hiccups! These movements usually occur for a few minutes at a time. As your baby grows larger, these movements become stronger. And because all babies are different, some babies hiccup multiple times a day, and some babies only hiccup when there's a full moon.         

By week 21, your hormone levels will likely even out, allowing you to experience more mood stability throughout the day.

Most pregnant individuals have gained about 13 to 15 pounds by week 21. Swollen, hurting, or cramping legs and feet are normal. As your body continues gaining weight to support your little one's growth, you may notice your ankles growing sore, experience leg cramps, or see varicose veins. These discomforts, thankfully, usually subside after pregnancy (though any varicose veins may linger longer or fade into less visible varicose veins).

If you're nervous about the number on your home scale, stop weighing yourself. Okay, all joking aside, if you eat healthy, drink lots of water, and exercise moderately (because your doctor approved this activity), the scale's number does not matter. What truly matters is you and your growing baby (or babies) are healthy. Your little one weighs more now. The placenta, your uterus, the amniotic fluid, and your awesome, voluptuous breasts weigh more now. So relax and put your feet up, especially if you're near the end of your day because your feet and ankles are likely swollen. Drinking water can decrease the swelling you experience, which is another reason to stay hydrated throughout the day.

One last food for thought... rapid weight gain can cause stretch marks, so if you wind up binge eating every time the hungry monster tickles at a snack-filled thought, you may begin to notice new stretch marks striping your body in pink, red, or brown on your stomach, breasts, booty, thighs, and other areas your body tends to carry extra weight naturally. Don't worry. We swear these marks are worth it. And sometimes, a lot of cocoa butter goes a long way.         

As the third trimester draws near, your symptoms could be a sign of things to come. Fortunately, hopefully you're still experiencing a bit of the golden phase of pregnancy, taking advantage of any energy, patience, sexual desire, and free time whenever you have it. Here is a list of symptoms you may experience this week.

Fetal movement: this exciting symptom is one you’ve probably been waiting for! Enjoy feeling your little one’s flutters, as they will soon become sharp jabs and kicks as they quickly run out of space in the womb.

Bloating, gas, and/or constipation: pregnancy isn’t always glowing radiance. As your digestive system slows in response to increased progesterone causing your muscles to relax, you may experience bloating and gas (from both ends!).

Swollen ankles and feet: some swelling is normal and expected during pregnancy, but it’s best to keep an eye on any sudden changes so your healthcare provider can ensure there isn’t anything to be concerned about.

Leg cramps: increased blood volume and stress from increasing weight can put pressure on your leg muscles, causing cramps. Dehydration or low calcium may also be to blame, so check your prenatal vitamin to be sure you are getting enough!

Thicker hair and stronger nails: this side effect of changing hormones and prenatal vitamins can be most welcome! Enjoy!

Heartburn and/or indigestion: as your baby continues to grow and press on internal organs, your digestive system is likely to feel the impact of cramped quarters. This, paired with continuing hormone fluctuations can result in heartburn or indigestion. Talk to your medical care provider about options for relief if you’re feeling too uncomfortable.

Headaches: between hormone changes and increased blood volume, headaches are a common pregnancy occurrence. Talk to your doctor about safe pain relief options that may offer some comfort.

Stretch marks: there are many skin changes throughout pregnancy, and itchy stretch marks is just one of them! As your baby continues to grow and your body grows to accommodate, your skin may experience stretching, leaving marks and causing discomfort. You can utilize lotions and creams to soothe irritated skin; but stretch marks are largely genetic and not something you should feel guilty for not “preventing”. 

Dry, itchy skin: hormone fluctuations and stretching from growth can both cause itchy skin. Staying hydrated and using moisturizer are the best ways to combat this symptom during pregnancy. Avoid being in the sun for extended periods of time, and wear sunscreen when you are outside. 

Backaches:  aches and pains are an uncomfortable, albeit normal, part of pregnancy. Avoid staying in the same position for too long, stay hydrated, and talk to your doctor about safe pain relief options that may offer some comfort.

Frequent nighttime wakings: between getting up to use the bathroom, leg cramps, shortness of breath, and even heartburn– you may be struggling to get a decent amount of sleep during the night. 

Crazy dreams: vivid dreams can be some of the more interesting pregnancy symptoms. While the cause is unknown it may have something to do with hormones, or the fact that nausea or frequent urination means you are not sleeping as deeply and can remember your dreams more easily.          

Take a side profile pregnancy and write in your pregnancy journal. Speaking of pregnancy photos, if you're considering a maternity photo shoot, it's time to get it scheduled on your calendar!

To help prevent, minimize, or deal with varicose veins and swelling during pregnancy, put on compression socks or support hose first thing in the morning. You can also wear a belly belt throughout the day to help with edema or discomfort in the ankles or legs and elevate your legs on a pregnancy support pillow at night, or when sleeping. This will increase circulation in your legs, which often relieves and lessens varicose veins, cramping, and edema. You should also be sleeping on your side by week 21.

Don't sit in personal disappointment if you can't keep up with the schedule you used to! It's important to listen to your body and rest, or stretch, if you need to. Your body is going through some amazing changes, and it deserves some time to relax as needed!

Last week, we talked about working with your partner to choose a name. If you've found a name that passes the partner test, take our best advice: If you don't want to know what people really think, don't share your baby's name until you have a fully formed, birthed baby to show with it. People won't hesitate to tell you about the hideous girl from their college dorm named Blahblahblah, who had serious body odor and pretended to sleepwalk up and down their dorm's hallway in the middle of the night.

Have you settled on how you'll spell your baby's name? How does it look when you write it out on paper? Will you or your child get embarrassed when their name is called out at a sporting event, or in a grocery store? Will your baby's initials spell out anything you might wish it wouldn't when only initials are used, as Farrah Anna Timber's and Nathan Udolph Thompson's might? Will the full spelling of the name incite future teachers and school administrators to grossly mispronounce your child’s name on the first day of every school year and at every social gathering?

If your child has a speech impediment, will their name cause anxiety or bullying? How will it look on a resume? Can you imagine meeting someone with this name? Do you like the person you imagine the name belonging to? These are the things you may want to consider!

Last, but not least, talk with your midwife or doctor about taking the glucose challenge test!

At a Glance

  • Take a swim: Staying active during pregnancy is important, and swimming can be a great option as it relieves weight.
  • Thumb sucking: Your baby is already practicing their nursing skills by sucking on their thumb!
  • Watch your step!: A growing belly means your center of gravity can be thrown off-balance, making you extra clumsy.
  • Heartburn: This uncomfortable symptom is the result of hormones and your growing baby. Ask your health care provider for relief options.
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2nd Trimester

Louise Broadbridge

Expert Midwife

Hi, my name is Louise, I am a registered senior midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby antenatal classes and the face behind instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have taught over 100,000 expectant parents since starting my antenatal classes which have 5* reviews.

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The information on the Your Baby Club website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always discuss any health concerns with a qualified healthcare provider and carefully review all guidance that comes with any medications or supplements before taking.