21 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby’s skin is developing during this period and will be a reddish colour, covered with fine, downy hair, known as lanugo. It’s thought that lanugo protects the baby’s skin and regulates its body temperature. Lanugo usually disappears before birth, although a small amount may remain, but not for long.
As you enter the second half of your pregnancy, your days of being sick will hopefully be over, and you should now be free of unpleasant smells or the desire to sleep all the time, but you might well suffer from a new set of minor ailments! These can include constipation, flatulence, sleeplessness and backache during pregnancy. Backache and general pregnancy aches and pains are far more likely to occur as you get bigger because your back muscles are doing more work supporting your growing bump.
For honest and expert advice on all things pregnancy, talk to Tracy Donegan, eumom’s pregnancy expert.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll probably have been taking extra care of your special diet during pregnancy, ensuring that you get enough iron and vitamin B12. Good vegetarian sources of iron include dried apricots, figs and prunes, seeds and wholegrains as well as fortified cereals. B12 is found in yeast extracts such as Marmite, stock cubes and vegetarian spreads (always check the label). If you’re a vegetarian, you can get your calcium readily from milk, yoghurt and cheese. If you’re a vegan, many soya milks and cheeses are fortified with calcium, and nuts, dried figs and pulses are good sources, too.
The low down on heartburn
Indigestion and heartburn are common symptoms of pregnancy in the later months due to hormone changes and the pressure of your growing baby on your stomach. Heartburn is characterized by a strong burning sensation in the stomach and throat area, sometimes with acid rising from the stomach into the mouth, and can be quite uncomfortable. You may be more aware of it if you lie down, cough or lift heavy objects.