Your Pregnancy: Week 21
Twenty-one is a magic number. It means independence. It means you just won a hand of blackjack. In pregnancy terms, it means you have gotten over the hump and you only have 19 weeks left!
Wondering what's up with your body, your baby and your life this week? Read on ...
What You're Thinking
"Ugh, even my underwear feels tight."
Did you know that your growing belly is directly proportional to your sex drive? In other words, the bigger you get, the bigger it gets. That's a sweet way of saying that second trimester hormones can turn you into a total horn dog. (Finally a physical benefit your partner can actually appreciate.)
As long as your pregnancy is going well, engaging in a little "love me do" is perfectly safe and healthy. In a healthy pregnancy, having sex is perfectly fine—even in the third trimester
There was a time when you tried different sex positions all the time. Now that your growing belly is making the old reliable missionary position obsolete, it's time to get creative again
When you're about ready to pop, some say sex can induce contractions
. And even if it doesn't work, you can still have fun trying.
Chances are good you're feeling someone performing a round-off back handspring in your uterus by now. Is there any other feeling this cool? Other highlights this week:
By now your baby looks like a mini-version of what she'll look like when she's born. All her facial features are formed and hair is growing on her head. She's even acting like a baby and will occasionally suck her thumb or yawn. Aww ...
Baby's heartbeat is getting stronger and can be heard using a good old-fashioned stethoscope. Ask for a listen at your next prenatal visit! By 21 weeks, fetal bone marrow starts making blood cells—previously done by the liver and spleen. This may not sound that exciting, but it's good news.
The amniotic fluid that has been cushioning your little bean now serves another purpose: Your baby uses it to "practice" chowing down. Yes, it sounds gross (as many aspects of pregnancy do), but it's an important step for your baby toward being able to chow down in the real world. Your baby has been swallowing amniotic fluid for a while now, but now the intestines are finally developed enough that she's absorbing small amounts of sugars from it. And let's face it, being able to effectively digest sugar is important at every stage of life.
Your baby now weighs between 10 and 11 ounces and is approximately 7 inches long—the size of a delicious, cold, frothy bottle of root beer. Float anyone?
Someday, your grown-up baby may laugh at how you decorated his or her nursery. But that's 20 years from now, so impose your decorating tastes on your Mini while you can. Suggestions on making his or her palace fabulous include:
Frame pictures from a favorite artistic gift wrap, children's book or wall calendar (skip your husband's Sports Illustrated
Hang a colorful tapestry, quilt, scarf or rug from a curtain rod mounted onto the wall. Not entirely unlike your college dorm.
Ask an artistic relative to draw something special that you can frame. But if you ask, you're going to have to hang whatever they make, so ask wisely.
Creatively challenged? Leave the designing to the pros by buying wall decals
or borders, or by stenciling a funny or inspirational quote on the walls.
While you're decorating stuff, why not decorate yourself? Now's a great time to paint your toenails
(while you can still reach them) or schedule a manicure and hand massage.
"I had one of my babies in France. It was SO much better than giving birth in America!"
How to shop for a maternity bra to hold up those expanding knockers.
I hate veggies, can I get the nutrients I need from vitamins?