Pregnancy Week 21Welcome Guest!
Inside Pregnancy Week 21
Babyís measurements once were crown to rump, now they are measured crown to heel. Babyís eyelids are now formed, but eyes are still closed. The leukocytes, or white blood cells are being produced, and will help fight off infections and disease. The tongue is developed and often baby will be practicing moving it about. Swallowing has increased, helping to prepare the system for digestion. Babyís sleep schedule is being set, by your hours as well as taking cues from light and sounds. Baby now measures around 9" to 10Ē in length and weighs is about 12 ounces.
Pregnancy Symptoms You May Feel During Week 21
Another troublesome symptom of pregnancy appears in the second trimester. Varicose veins are problematic for the majority of pregnant women. They generally appear in the legs, however they can pop up in other places, such as the vulva and rectum. The swelling associated with them will disappear after childbirth, however the varicose veins themselves may not. Talk to your physician about them and see what is recommended for yours. Often taking a regular time to rest with feet elevated will be advised.
Visit With the Obstetrician
Gestational diabetes can appear most likely during the second trimester. Itís a fairly common pregnancy complication occurring in approximately 4% of pregnancies, and needs monitoring, but can be managed. It is diagnosed by a glucose tolerance test, which is given around 24th week of pregnancy unless symptoms or history indicate a need for earlier testing. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your will need to keep monitoring your blood sugar levels, follow a diet, monitor your weight, exercise, and if those donít manage the condition adequately, take insulin. Having gestational diabetes does put you at higher risk for diabetes following pregnancy, but does not insure the diagnosis. Those with GD are at risk for having larger babies, which might precipitate a Cesarean birth.
Preparing for Baby
Now is the time, if you havenít already, to start getting serious about that birth plan, especially if you want a special birth assistant, such as a doula or midwife involved. Interview potential assistants, talk to people who have used their services, educate yourself on your options and speak to your physician for recommendations, too. Different states have different licensing standards, but check yours to make sure your birth assistant is in good standing. Someone might be properly endorsed and recommended, but still not a good match for you. Ask questions that will reveal how well you would work together. Then make certain that all the people involved in the birth will work well together also.
Now that youíre in the middle of your pregnancy, you might reconsider your caffeine intake. Many women give up caffeine entirely in their pregnancies, while others cut it out totally in the first trimester, and limit it for the rest of the pregnancy. The best move of course is to cut out all caffeine all nine months, but if you do partake, keep it within the recommended amount of 150-300 mg. a day (about one to two cups of coffee). More than that and you risk not just yours, but your babyís health, as caffeine does cross the placenta into babyís system. Caffeine is both a stimulant and a diuretic, and as such brings with it a variety of known risks, as well as some possible complications suspected but not yet proven through conclusive studies. It is best to simply avoid it if you can.
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