21 Week inside update

Your baby’s blood circulation is completely functional. The umbilical cord system continues to grow and thicken as blood travels with considerable force through the body to nurture the baby. The placenta is now almost equal in size to the baby.

Your baby will be getting much larger during the second half of your pregnancy. Your baby’s crown-to-rump length at this time is 7.2 inches and she weighs approximately 10.5 ounces. Your growing baby is about the size of a large banana. You should be able to feel your uterus about a half of an inch above your navel. Your weight gain so far will be around 10 to 15 pounds.

As your baby begins to lay down more fat, your weight will also increase. During the next 10 weeks, you will gain about half of the total gain for your entire pregnancy. Strangers can now tell that you are pregnant! You might notice an increase in appetite because you need 500 more calories a day to support your charged up metabolism. It is best to avoid processed foods or foods high in fat, calories or sugar. Some women also get strong cravings for foods. If you notice a craving for something unhealthy, you should contact your doctor. Craving for unusual things is known as pica. Some women crave cigarette ashes, charcoal, beer and other non-food items during this time.

Your baby’s different organs and systems are maturing. The fetal digestive system is functioning in a simple way and your baby can swallow amniotic fluid. After your baby swallows the amniotic fluid, she is able to absorb water and sugars from the fluid and then the waste is passed as far as the large bowel. Your baby swallows the amniotic fluid in order to prepare itself for life outside of the womb. Some babies consume as much as 17 ounces of amniotic fluid in a 24-hour period. Your baby already has a high number of red blood cells and the white blood cells are beginning to be produced. Taste buds are being formed on your baby’s tongue this week also.

Don’t be surprised if your legs and feet become swollen throughout the day. You should try to get off of your feet some throughout the day and prop your legs up. If you notice a substantial amount of swelling, you should contact your healthcare provider for evaluation.

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