21 weeks pregnant: advice, symptoms and what to expect

22 weeks pregnant

by Deborah Cicurel |

At twenty-one weeks pregnant, your baby is growing fast, your skin is changing and those movements in your womb are intensifying. At the 21 week mark, you'll probably feel your baby moving inside you a lot more (which is super exciting) and you might be beginning to feel more symptoms.

Counting your pregnancy in weeks and months can get confusing, around now, you are four months and about three weeks pregnant!

In this article

How big is my baby at 21 weeks pregnant?

What is my baby up to at 21 weeks?

What symptoms might I be feeling at 21 weeks?

Things to think about this week

You'll also start to notice that bump is really starting to bloom! This obviously varies a lot from expectant mother, but as a guide, by now you will probably have gained around 13 to 14 pounds (or around 21 pounds if you're expecting twins). You'll gain around 30 pounds in total during your pregnancy.

How big is my baby at 21 weeks pregnant?

Leaving the fruit analogies behind in favour of vegetable ones, your baby is now the size of a large carrot. She’s growing fast, now measuring 10 and a half inches long and weighing between 11 and 12 and a half ounces.

What’s my baby doing at 21 weeks pregnant?

You might have felt more activity in your womb than usual, and that’s because the initial fluttering movements you might have experienced will now start to feel like proper kicks, nudges, twists and turns. This is because the baby’s arms and legs will now be in proportion, the neutrons between the brain and muscles are connected, and the cartilage in your baby’s body will be turning to bone, all of which gives your baby more control over the movement of her limbs.

But it’s not all activity in there: despite the movement in your belly, your baby is sleeping as much as a newborn.

Your baby’s taste buds will also be developing. She’ll be swallowing a little amniotic fluid every day for nutrition and hydration, and also to practise swallowing and digesting once she’s born - and whatever you’ve eaten will influence the taste of the amniotic fluid. Some research even suggests that the food you eat now could influence your baby’s tastes once she’s born!

In other fun news, your baby's eyelids and eyebrows are now present, and if she’s a girl, her vagina has begun to form!

9 common symptoms to look out for at 21 weeks pregnant:

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1) Varicose veins

With each week of pregnancy, there’s more and more pressure on the veins in your legs - and increasing progesterone levels, which relax the walls of the veins, only make it worse. To try to minimise these veins, try to exercise regularly, wear maternity support hose and to prop up your legs whenever you get a chance.

What to do this week:

  • Maternity leave: Start thinking about what maternity leave you want to take and when you want to start it. Statutory maternity leave lasts 52 weeks and you’re eligible for statutory maternity pay (SMP) for up to 39 weeks. You’ll need to inform your employer when you want to stop work and the day you want your SMP to start. You must give at least 28 days notice, and your employer must confirm within 28 days how much SMP you’ll get and when it will start and stop. Here's all you need to know about getting that all important MAT B1 form.

  • Exercise: Of course, it's important to stay active during your pregnancy, but it's best to keep to light exercise now. Try to get out for a 30 minute walk everyday and try things like morning yoga to keep it low-impact. Read more about exercising in pregnany here.

  • Keep your feet up: You might begin to find that your feet and ankles are now looking a little swollen, so it's really important to get some time with your feet up throughout the day. You can read more about swollen ankles in pregnancy here.

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