My 21 Week Pregnant Belly: Bump Update (With Pictures)

My 21 Weeks Pregnant Belly Picture

21-week-bump-update

Starting Weight: 123lbs

Current Weight: 128lbs

Total Weight Gain:Β 5lbs

Now let’s go over how my week went and what to expect…

Disclaimer

Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.



Energy Level: My energy level was great at the start of the week but I wound up getting sick towards the end of it.

Symptoms: I started out the week with nasal congestion which I have not previously felt. I originally attributed this to pregnancy, but as the week went by, I continued to feel increased fatigue. I felt like I did in the first trimester. I eventually developed a cough and an upper respiratory tract infection. Thankfully, the symptoms are mild and already improving.

Other Physical Changes: I am just watching my bump grow πŸ™‚

Diet: I continue to meal prep the majority of my meals as I am usually at work from 6 am-5 pm on most days (unless I am on a 24+ hour call). This usually includes two main meals and two snacks. When I come home from work, I work out and then have my protein smoothie. I also had pizza once this week :).

Diet Modifications: No modifications as of yet.

Food Aversions: I used to really enjoy salads, but I don’t crave them anymore.

Food Cravings: No real food cravings this week. Thankfully, I have been able to maintain my healthy diet for the most part which includes plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein!

Workouts: I did four strength training sessions this week, centered around the major compound exercises (squats, bench press, deadlifts, and shoulder press). I also try to fit in at least one Peloton workout.

You can see examples of my entire pregnancy workout in my Prenatal Fitness Prescription.

desktop computer showing the cover of the prenatal fitness rx workout program

Modifications to my workout:  I continue to listen to my body and take things one day at a time. I am taking the appropriate time to rest in between sets and avoiding anything that causes discomfort. I am also incorporating kegel exercises every day and take a brisk walk when I can.

Here is a photo of me stretching my quads prior to my workout.

*Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to learn if exercise is safe for you.* As always start with gentle exercises and listen to your body.

Other Related Questions

How big should you be at 21 weeks pregnant?

At 21 weeks pregnant, you will likely have a noticeable baby bump.

Your developing baby is about 10.5 inches long and weighs about 12.5-13 ounces. This is approximately the size of a banana.

If your BMI was normal at the start of pregnancy (18.5-24.9) you could expect to have gained anywhere from 8-15 pounds by 21 weeks.

Remember, the total weight gain that is recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for a woman who started pregnancy with a normal BMI is 25-35 pounds.

Many pregnant women will typically gain 1 pound per week in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

Here is my bump at 21 weeks.

brittany holding up sign at 21 weeks pregnant from side

What position is the baby in at 21 weeks?

At 21 weeks, your baby is constantly moving around inside the womb. At any given time, it can be in a cephalic, breech, or transverse position.

The cephalic position is one in which the baby’s head is down.

A breech position is one in which the baby is “sitting” inside the uterus with its head in the upper abdomen. There are also 3 different types of breech positions that I will cover later.

Lastly, your baby could be in the transverse position which is when the baby is lying across your abdomen.

How does your stomach feel at 21 weeks pregnant?

At 21 weeks, your lower abdomen may start to feel hard as your uterus is beginning to grow more rapidly.

You may even be able to palpate the top of your uterus right above your umbilicus or belly button. This is known as your fundal height and can be measured by your provider to determine approximately how many weeks pregnant you are.

It is also common to develop stretch marks in the 2nd trimester and so you may notice that on your stomach.

I use my skincare products by Tracie Martyn on my belly to try and prevent stretch marks. (Be sure to speak with your doctor if creams are okay for you to use).

The Tracie Martyn products aren’t cheap – but they are one of the cleanest, all-natural products I have found and you will notice the quality immediately.

Are there any symptoms of a boy or girl at 21 weeks pregnant?

There are no proven pregnancy symptoms that indicate you are having a boy or girl.

However, you can determine the gender of your baby during the anatomy ultrasound by looking at your baby’s genitalia.

This sonogram is performed anywhere from 18-22 weeks and looks at how your baby is growing with a special focus on organ development. It is quite a long ultrasound ranging from 30-60 minutes, depending on how well your baby is cooperating.

Make sure you do not miss this sonogram as it is super important to determine if there are any abnormalities early on in the pregnancy.

Is it normal to be uncomfortable at 21 weeks pregnant?

It is normal to start to feel uncomfortable at 21 weeks, and you may have to make adjustments in your day-to-day life.

For example, you may notice that you have to start sleeping on your side due to the growth of your bump.

It is best to avoid sleeping on your abdomen and flat on your back as this can impede blood flow back to your heart.

I have not invested in a pregnancy pillow as of yet, but continue to use my 2 Lifekind Organic Cotton pillows made with clean, raw, organic materials.

If you have started to feel fatigued again, don’t ignore it. Remember you are growing a human so do your best to stay hydrated and try to take naps whenever you can!

Also, make sure that you are getting enough calories in at this point as you may start to notice increased hunger. Do your best to consume an additional 350-400 calories per day.

Additionally, you may really start to notice temperature changes which can result in feeling very hot, flushed, and cause you to sweat. To avoid this, dress in layers so that you can easily accommodate yourself.

Lastly, you may feel occasional Braxton Hicks contractions which are totally normal! However, if the contractions do not subside, and continue for a few hours, you should immediately go to labor and delivery and ensure you are not in preterm labor.

What else should I expect at 21 weeks pregnant?

At 21 weeks, symptoms you might expect include:

  • Fatigue
  • Leg cramps
  • Varicose veins
  • Pain in your pubic bone
  • Round ligament pain
  • Engorged breasts
  • Heartburn / Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Swelling of your extremities

What does a 21 week baby look like?

At 21 weeks of pregnancy, your baby will resemble a full-term baby, just a lot smaller.

Your baby’s head is typically larger than its body, but all of its extremities, fingers, toes, and even eyelashes are developed.

On a 21 week pregnant ultrasound, you can see:

  • The face
  • The heart
  • All internal organs
  • Your baby’s legs, feet, toes
  • Your baby’s arms, hands, fingers
  • A lot of amniotic fluid
  • Placenta location
  • Umbilical cord vessels

Is the baby fully developed at 21 weeks?

Your baby’s organs are formed at 21 weeks, however, they continue to grow and develop until your baby reaches full-term (37-40 weeks.)

During this week, your baby’s nervous system, sense of touch, and taste buds continue to develop. In addition, your baby will continue to produce meconium, which is the substance that becomes your baby’s first poop.

When will you feel a baby kick?

If this is your first pregnancy, you may feel your baby’s first movement anytime between 18-24 weeks.

With that said, if you are thin and/or have a posterior or fundal placenta you may start to feel the baby move in the early to mid 2nd trimester. If you have a larger abdomen or have an anterior placenta, you may not feel the baby kick until later in the 2nd trimester.

If this is your second pregnancy you may start to feel fetal movements early in the 2nd trimester.

How often should I feel kicks at 21 weeks?

If you are already feeling your baby kick at 21 weeks you will notice they are variable throughout the day.

You may notice your baby is more active at a particular time or after a particular meal.

If you have not felt your baby kick, this could be normal. Be sure to follow up with your health care provider to ensure everything is developing appropriately.

Can a baby survive at 21 weeks?

Unfortunately, a baby cannot survive outside the uterus until about 23-24 weeks as the lungs are not fully developed.

If you happen to go into preterm labor at 21 weeks, we can only offer expectant management as there is nothing we can offer that will enhance neonatal survival.

How many months is 21 weeks?

At 21 weeks you are 5 months and 1 week (officially in the 6th month of pregnancy).

Congrats on making it this far πŸ™‚

This is a good time to have a checkup with your provider as you get ready for the third trimester.

Final Words on Pregnancy Week 21

You are now in the second half of your pregnancy!

How did your week go?

Are you continuing to take your prenatal vitamins, consuming a well-balanced diet to get all of your nutrients, and engaging in a workout routine?

Comment below and let me know and be sure to check back next week for my 22 week pregnancy bump update!

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brittany-robles

Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness, expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.



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