What To Expect During Pregnancy Week 21
During pregnancy week 21, you may not be sleeping very well. You might experience heartburn when you lie down, and restless legs and leg cramps.
Your Body at 21 Weeks Pregnant
Insomnia can occur from early on in your pregnancy and make an appearance on and off as it progresses.
There are many causes of insomnia during pregnancy and many are psychological.
Just being a woman increases your risk of insomnia!
Other issues that can keep you awake at night include stress- worrying about the pregnancy, other children, family and work.
Having an underlying anxiety disorder can disrupt your sleep and then worrying about not being able to fall asleep makes it worse.
Poor sleeping habits with irregular bed times and being active just prior to bed-time can make it harder for your body to wind down.
Caffeine, a stimulant present in tea and coffee from anytime from late afternoon onward can still be in your system when you go to bed.
Eating late at night can result in you having heartburn when you lie down.
The need to empty your bladder frequently can have you up several times a night.
Restless legs and leg cramps will catch you unawares.
Exercise during the day and warm baths before bed can be effective.
All these common reasons for insomnia can be checked and modifications may help you improve your sleep pattern.
Your Baby at 21 Weeks Pregnant
At pregnancy week 21, Baby is now just over 26 cm long and weighs around 360 grams
Movements from the baby are becoming more noticeable and can be very active.
Baby is busy swallowing some of the fluid that surrounds them.
These fluids, along with cells that are shed along the digestive tract make up the meconium (a sticky dark green or black bowels movement) that is passed from baby’s bowels after delivery.
Sometimes this may be passed towards the end of the pregnancy or in labour.
This swallowing of fluid and passage both through the kidneys and eventually out in bowel movements is important in the development and maturing of the digestive tract.
Baby’s taste buds are developing and certain foods that you eat can enter the amniotic fluid and be tasted as this is swallowed.
Baby’s eyelids have also finished forming in week 21 and baby can blink.