Your Baby's Development Week 21

Week 21
Now that you are 21 weeks pregnant, your baby weighs about 13 ounces (360 grams). She is still able to move about inside the amniotic fluid, and will only quiet down towards the end of this trimester, where she will turn and settle into a head-down position.

Growth starts to slow down a bit now and the heart beat gets stronger. Baby's legs will also reach their relative proportion.

' The amniotic fluid that has cushioned and supported your baby in the uterus now has another purpose; the intestines have developed enough so that small amounts of sugars can be absorbed from the amniotic fluid the baby swallows. This sugar is then passed through the digestive system to the large bowel. However, most of your baby's nourishment still comes from you via the placenta.

Up until now, baby's liver and spleen have been responsible for the production of blood cells - in fact, the fetal liver will produce blood cells until the time of birth. Now, the bone marrow spaces are developed enough so that they can also contribute to blood cell formation.

Pregnancy and Exercise
Exercise is an excellent way to stay in shape during your pregnancy. It can even keep some symptoms and dsicomfort to a minimum, including varicose veins, excessive weight gain and backache. However, if exercise is not part of your routine, this is not the time to start training for a triathlon - simply go slow!

Your ligaments are much more relaxed when you are pregnant, and you are at a higher risk for injury. Ideally, you should consider doing low or non-impact exercises. Yoga and swimming are great choices - and so is walking! Before you begin any exercise program, make sure you talk to your health care provider.

Spend Time With Your Partner
The second trimeter is easy on your body, so this is an ideal time to get out and do things with your partner. How about going away for a weekend? This could give you some precious alone time. Try to do this before baby arrives!

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