Week 21

Your bump

The diameter of your baby's head has grown by 3 mm since last week. The hair is growing, and there are eyelashes! The intestines have developed so that nutrition can be absorbed from the amniotic fluid which your baby swallows. While it is mainly the placenta that will provide your baby with food, a part of it passes through the intestines and now to the colon.  So already your baby’s first faeces, called meconium, are collected in the intestines. It is a greenish-black to light-brown substance that your baby passes from its bowels before delivery, during labour or after birth. Your baby has almost half its birth length already but weighs only 10% of what it will weigh at birth.

You

By this week, your waistline has definitely gone. It would be hard to hide your pregnancy now.  You may find that you put on the most weight during the coming weeks. Even if your body is demanding to be fed more, try to avoid treats like the irresistible four Cs: chocolate, chips, cakes and (ice)cream. Your mammary glands have been steadily developing ever since you first became pregnant and you may already be finding that a little fluid is starting to leak out of your breasts. It can feel a bit strange. You may notice swelling in your lower calves and feet, particularly at the end of the day; 75 per cent of all pregnant women suffer from swollen fingers, ankles and feet. One piece of advice is to wear support stockings, yes, like an old lady… But it really helps and is also great for preventing varicose veins.

What to buy?

Strollers, clothes, diapers/nappies, swings, diaper/nappy disposal systems, play mats, toys… Oh, the pressure of not being a good enough parent, even before you’re one, often makes us believe we need to get everything. You can spend forever. But take it easy. A lot you can buy second hand, a lot you can just forget about and some things you can borrow.

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