As weeks pass, you are more and more relaxed about your pregnancy and you start feeling better. Being 21 weeks pregnant won`t make an exception from this. Your pregnancy becomes easier with time passing and your body has already adapted to the difficulties that needed to be faced during the last few pregnancy months.
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21 Weeks Fetus
His eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed and now he can even blink. If he`s a boy, his testicles will descend to the scrotum in the following weeks; and if she`s a girl, her vagina will start to develop.
At the end of this week, the baby has a length of 26.7, almost the same size of a carrot, and will weigh around 360g.
The Mother`s Body
At this stage of your pregnancy you`ll notice your belly becoming a magnet for other people`s hands. If you prefer for this not to happen, you should tell them to keep their distance with such gestures because it`s something perfectly normal for you to feel like this. Even if you get remarks that you should be bigger or smaller at this point in your pregnancy, you should remember that every pregnant woman will develop in her own way. The important aspect is to visit your doctor often to be sure your baby`s development is in the right limits.
As your belly increases, you`ll notice new stretch marks that look like pink lines. They appear as a result of tissue damage of your skin. Although a very small number of pregnant women are lucky enough not to have them, the others that aren`t so lucky will experience stretch marks around the lower abdomen, breasts, arms, buttocks or thighs. Heredity is responsible for the natural elasticity of the skin and plays a very important role in the appearance of stretch marks.
If you are attracted of various cosmetic products that clam they could prevent or treat stretch marks, you should try and resist the temptation. These creams are either dangerous or they won`t help you at all, so there`s no point in take them. The stretch marks will start to soften and become less obvious after 6 to 12 months after giving birth.
Also, the stretched skin on your increased belly can lead to itching, especially if it isn`t hydrated enough. It might be best to use cotton clothes, creams and detergents that are especially for sensitive skin. Usually during pregnancy, the area around the abdomen is the one that`s itching. If your arms or legs are itching as well, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy, you might have a liver disorder that is known as cholestasis of pregnancy and it`s best to visit your doctor to avoid any doubt.
What to Do this Week?
To make the most of your prenatal consultations, get used to writing down any possible questions you may have so you can remember asking your doctor at the next visit. You may be surprised of how many questions you have to ask him, so you shouldn`t lose the opportunity to get the right answer to the questions that may bother you.
For instance, before drinking a herbal tea or taking a dietary supplement or medication, take it with you the next time you see your doctor so he can read the label and tell you if it`s safe to take it with your pregnancy.
Still, if you have certain questions or urgent concerns, or if you notice any usual symptoms, don`t wait your next doctor`s appointment and call him right away.
Advices for an Easier Pregnancy
You probably feel pretty well these days, your belly isn`t too big yet and most of the unpleasantries from the first trimester are already gone. If you are feeling well, relax yourself and enjoy these moments now because the third trimester might bring some of the unpleasant symptoms.
However, some women may experience acne again. Although it`s still somehow unclear what causes it, for most women the cause might be the excess of sebum due to pregnancy hormones. To treat acne, start with your personal hygiene:
- Wash your face at least 2 times per day. Do this with gentle movements and use a delicate cleaning solution and warm water;
- Then dry yourself by using gentle dabbing movements, not friction movements;
- If you have a thick hair, wash it every day. Try to avoid having your hair get on your face;
- Try to avoid squeeze your acne lesions. These bad habits can favor spreading the infection and might lead to scars;
- Try to avoid leaning your hands against your face. This might block the sebum and sweat in that particular area, which will irritate the acnes even more.
Taking drugs can be the second line of defense if you have acne during pregnancy. Any substance that you apply on the skin or swallow can get into circulation, so it`s essential to be careful, including when you are taking drugs obtained without prescription. If you are worried, talk to the doctor that supervises your pregnancy or a dermatologist and together you can take a decision weighing the benefits against the risks.
Are Antibiotics Safe?
Antibiotics are frequently recommended during pregnancy, but they should be chosen carefully. Some antibiotics are safe, while others aren`t safe. Their safety depends on several factors, such as the type of antibiotics, pregnancy age, dose and how much time you need to take the medicine.
The following antibiotics are considered safe during pregnancy:
On the other hand, some antibiotics should be avoided during pregnancy, such as doxycycline and minocycline, can affect the mother`s liver and discolor the baby`s teeth.
It`s also good to know 2 classes of antibiotics used frequently for urinary infections, nitrofuratoin and sulfonamide derivatives have been associated with rare congenital anomalies. Although there isn`t any clear evidence that these antibiotics may cause birth defects, further studies are necessary.
If antibiotics are indicated in your case, your doctor will prescribe you the safest antibiotics in the safest dose.
Advices for the Father
Offer your life partner to do something together, something that you enjoy doing both and which will be harder to do after the baby is born. Even if it`s a trip to the mountains, a day spent at the beach or just seeing a movie, be sure it`s an activity that will bring fun to both of you.