Pregnancy Week 21: Fetal Development, Stretch Marks, Nausea & Gender Prediction by 30Seconds Pregnancy

Pregnancy Weekly
4 years ago

Pregnancy Week 21: Fetal Development, Stretch Marks, Nausea & Gender Prediction

About Baby

You are over halfway through your pregnancy! Baby now weighs between 11 and 12 ounces and is about as long as really big carrot (definitely a Bugs Bunny-approved one). With room to move in your uterus (for now!) he or she is kicking, dancing (doing the floss, perhaps?) and wiggly a lot. But even with all that moving, Baby is now sleeping as much as a newborn. Hard to believe, right? Amniotic fluid is Baby’s drink of choice right now – it keeps him hydrated, helps him practice swallowing and encourages growth of the intestinal tract. Did you know that amniotic fluid contains protein, electrolytes, lipids, carbohydrates and urea? That may not sound appealing to you, but to your little one it’s like when you sip your favorite latte. Baby also has eyebrows and eyelids now.

Photo: Baby at 21 weeks of development

About Mom

Are you checking your stomach, breasts, thighs and butt for stretch marks? If you are, know that you’re not alone. Baby not only leaves a mark on your heart – but on your skin. Stretch marks form when the skin expands and tears the tissue underneath. They can be purple, red or even pink. Not all women get stretch marks, but if your mom did, chances are you will, too.

So … is there a magic cream to get rid of them? Unfortunately, no, though there are hundreds of products that claim they do. But there’s no harm in slathering on cocoa butter or your favorite skin moisturizer. It’ll help keep your skin soft and who doesn’t love that? The good news? Stretch marks do fade for most women after delivery – and many consider them a badge of honor for motherhood. Get more information on stretch marks from a cosmetic surgeon!

Enough about stretch marks. Let’s talk about the pregnancy symptoms that are diminishing. Nausea? What nausea? That nagging fatigue that made you want to curl up on every chair you saw? Well, you may be tired from the daily grind, but less of it is because of pregnancy hormones. Same with moodiness. Your boss (or spouse) can still push your buttons, but you may be a bit calmer about it. Just breathe, Mom-to-be.

Gender Prediction

Still waiting for the big ultrasound or did Baby not cooperate? Maybe you can find out yourself. When it comes to predicting the gender of your baby, everyone loves a good challenge. Some guesses are purely speculation; others are based on old wives' tales that have been around for decades. They're not proven scientific methods, but can lead to some fun conversation about your fate as a parent-to-be. If you're just up for a fun experiment, try one of these:

  • Heart Rate: Make a note of the baby's heart rate during each ultrasound. If it's trending above 140 to 145 beats per minute it could be a girl. If it's below that line, your little one might be a boy.
  • Pregnancy Cravings: If you keep reaching for sweets, it could be a girl trying to steal your heart. If you'd rather have protein or salty snacks, boy oh boy you better get ready!
  • The Ring Swing: Take off your wedding ring (it might not fit right now anyway). Dangle it from a string over your belly. If it swings in a circle, you might expect a girl. If it sways side to side in a straight line, it could be a boy. This one is easy to rig if you're hoping for one or the other.

There are even more ways to predict Baby’s gender, if you can believe it. Just keep in mind that childbirth is the only true proof.

Bump Talk

“Being pregnant finally helped me understand what my true relationship was with my body – meaning that it wasn’t put on this earth to look good in a swimsuit.” – Amy Adams, actress

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The information on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.

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Elisa Schmitz
I think of my stretch marks as battle scars that I earned through the most beautifully challenging process of bringing my children into this world!

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