illustration of developing human baby at 21 weeks

21 weeks pregnant

For information about weeks 20 to 23 of a twin or multiple pregnancy, tap here.

Moving into the second half of your pregnancy, Baby is continuing to grow, and you’re probably noticing that your appetite is too.

How’s Baby?

Baby is about 10 ½ inches long (27.2 cm), the size of a bok choy, and weighs between 1/4 and 3/4 of a pound. Your baby looks a lot like a miniature person at this point, which is huge growth when you think about how they were just a microscopic ball of cells merely 20 weeks ago. Baby’s skin is still a bit see-through, and it has also developed wrinkles that will allow for internal expansion once their baby fat starts to set in — they’ll soon fill out into a cute, plump little thing! This baby fat is especially important for Baby’s development, both because the fats in their system will directly fuel their brain’s development and because it helps baby  regulate their temperature once they’re born. Baby is also still producing meconium, the black tarry substance that makes up their first poop.

What's new with you?

Just like Baby, you're growing too! If you’ve been experiencing backaches, those are probably going to persist, so do what you can to stay active and relieve your discomfort. And be sure to ask your healthcare provider for advice if you’re feeling very uncomfortable.

You might have noticed, or be beginning to notice, dental symptoms like bleeding or sore gums, which is a perfectly natural side effect caused by your increased hormones. The increased blood flow happening throughout your body reaches everywhere, even your mouth, which can also lead to sore and swollen gums and also leave you more vulnerable than usual to infection right now. All of this can also cause sore or bleeding gums when you brush or floss. The best way to deal with this is to brush regularly with a soft-bristled brush — there’s nothing wrong with being extra gentle with your gums while they’re particularly tender. You should also be sure to rinse your mouth out with clean water if you experience nausea and vomit, and then brush your teeth not long after. And it’s a good idea to have at least one dentist’s appointment during pregnancy, just be sure that your dentist knows that you’re pregnant and how far along you are. Serious gingivitis has been linked to pre-term birth, so regular dental checkups can help you stay as healthy as possible.

You’re probably also noticed that you’re feeling super hungry these days and it’s important to eat enough. All of that growing that you and Baby are doing calls for a lot of good fuel. Do what you can to listen to your body and eat a range of nutritious foods that help you feel good. 

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
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