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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

21 weeks




Your baby's blood circulation is completely functional. The umbilical cord system continues to grow and thicken as blood travels with considerable force through the body to nurture the baby. The placenta is now almost equal in size to the baby.

Your baby will be getting much larger during the second half of your pregnancy. Your baby's crown-to-rump length at this time is 7.2 inches and she weighs approximately 10.5 ounces. Your growing baby is about the size of a large banana. You should be able to feel your uterus about a half of an inch above your navel. Your weight gain so far will be around 10 to 15 pounds.



As your baby begins to lay down more fat, your weight will also increase. During the next 10 weeks, you will gain about half of the total gain for your entire pregnancy. Strangers can now tell that you are pregnant! You might notice an increase in appetite because you need 500 more calories a day to support your charged up metabolism. It is best to avoid processed foods or foods high in fat, calories or sugar. Some women also get strong cravings for foods. If you notice a craving for something unhealthy, you should contact your doctor. Craving for unusual things is known as pica. Some women crave cigarette ashes, charcoal, beer and other non-food items during this time.
Your baby's different organs and systems are maturing. The fetal digestive system is functioning in a simple way and your baby can swallow amniotic fluid. After your baby swallows the amniotic fluid, she is able to absorb water and sugars from the fluid and then the waste is passed as far as the large bowel. Your baby swallows the amniotic fluid in order to prepare itself for life outside of the womb. Some babies consume as much as 17 ounces of amniotic fluid in a 24-hour period. Your baby already has a high number of red blood cells and the white blood cells are beginning to be produced. Taste buds are being formed on your baby's tongue this week also.
Don't be surprised if your legs and feet become swollen throughout the day. You should try to get off of your feet some throughout the day and prop your legs up. If you notice a substantial amount of swelling, you should contact your healthcare provider for evaluation.

Your Baby


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?



How your baby's growing:


Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like she's practicing martial arts as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now, and if you're having a girl, her vagina has begun to form as well.






Your beautiful little miracle-gro baby will be putting on a full ounce and a half this week.

And that's just the beginning! Within the next five weeks, they'll really be packin' it on as they start to gain fat!
For now, we’re pleased to report the addition of rapid eye movement (REM); a key component to any healthy baby's sleep schedule, that indicates they're now capable of dreaming.
Over in the dermatology department: your sweet lil bun's thin soft skin is very red, rather translucent, and a bit wrinkled.
Not to worry, it’s not some creepy premature aging disease. It's just their clever little body setting them up with extra space that will smooth out once your little one starts packing on the baby-fat. That won’t be for a few more weeks, though.
So, for the time being, your munchkin is still a little lean mean growing machine!
Lastly, the beginnings of what is commonly called “brown fat” is just starting to fill in to help your baby retain some body heat, which is crucial as they’re not yet capable of regulating their own body temperature.
And how's mom doing?
We're smack in the middle of trimester two and you're in the full swing of baby-growin'.You can feel fluttering little kicks, but your womb-hijacker hasn't yet grown to their full-sized unholy proportions that'll leave you feeling like a pregnant whale with legs
Most moms are feeling pretty good right about now. You can feel fluttering little kicks, but your womb-hijacker hasn't yet grown to their full-sized unholy proportions that'll leave you feeling like a pregnant whale with legs.
You may already be noticing some mild uterine contractions — don’t panic, this is completely normal. It's also normal not to have them.
Actually, your uterus contracts throughout your whole life — only now that there’s enough pressure on the uterine muscles can you feel the contractions.
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Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

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