Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 21

Entering Month Five of Pregnancy

As you enter your fifth month of pregnancy, find out more about what is happening to your baby’s development and how you can prepare for your second trimester.

Week 21 of pregnancy shows some continuing development of the baby. Not only are the baby’s lungs growing even more, but there is evidence that your baby’s sense of taste is developing. Let’s find out more about these changes as well as how big your own baby might be in Week 21.

What is happening with Your Baby?

Your baby likely weighs about 300-400 grams (about 10-14 ozs.) and is about 18-20cm (about 7 inches) long. As you move into your 21st week of gestation, the baby’s lungs are still growing. Bronchi and bronchioles enlarge and even early alveoli in your baby’s lungs begin to form.

Studies show that your baby is actually able to distinguish taste in the fifth month! You might wonder how this is even possible to know this early in pregnancy. Well, scientists have discovered this by adding a sweetener to the amniotic fluid in the uteruse, which caused the babies to swallow twice as fast! Clearly we are “pre-wired” to prefer sweets even before we are born!

What is happening with You?

As you begin to perceive more of your baby’s movements, you can begin to tell when he/she is sleeping as opposed to when they are awake. You might even find that the baby moves more when you are resting and tends to me quieter as you are active. This should be no surprise to you since your movement serves to “rock your baby to sleep.”

You may begin to notice some changes in your breasts including enlargement and even the appearance of colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk the baby gets in the first several days prior to the actual breastmilk coming in. Often you will notice a slightly yellowish discharge in your bra during pregnancy, which is indeed a sign that your body is beginning to make colostrum.

Some mothers may also notice that their blood pressure may decrease slightly in the second trimester. This is possibly due to hormonal changes which can dilate some of the mother’s blood vessels. See your care provider should you have any concerns about your blood pressure during pregnancy.

To Do List:

1. Begin to read more about labor and birth, including the series on this site.

2. Continue your good eating habits and taking prenatal vitamins.

3. Have you thought about exercise? Here are tips on exercise guidelines as well as exercise to prepare for labor. Be sure to check with your care provider to see if you have any restrictions on your activity.

4. It’s not too early to think about returning to work or staying at home. Be sure to read over this latest article on the benefits of staying at home.

5. Don’t forget to register now for childbirth classes!

What’s ahead for week 22? Take a peak.