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21-weeks pregnant: baby development and diet tips

Though the baby now weighs around half a kilo, your little darling still has plenty of room in your belly. And likes to use it when not asleep! Read more about what to expect at 21 weeks in pregnancy.

3 mins to read Dec 15, 2021


Though they don’t need to make use of them in their current home –your baby’s senses of taste and smell continue developing this week. They are stimulated ever so slightly by your amniotic fluid. It carries the aromatic molecules from the food you eat and the smell of your environment to them! Thus, at birth, your baby will already be attracted to the smell of your skin, your milk, sweet taste (because the amniotic fluid is slightly sweet), and may even be familiar later on with foods you consumed regularly in late pregnancy. Soon, their brain will be mature enough for them to memorize these sensory experiences. Your eating habits, if you like Mediterranean food with lots of garlic for example, can already be introduced to your baby, in utero.


At this stage of pregnancy, your baby floats in plenty of amniotic fluid, which is replenished often. You may now understand why drinking plenty of water is important.  Your respiration pattern changes too. Your breathing becomes more frequent and at times, you may seem out of breath. This may be due to the gain in weight but also it is a space issue, as your baby grows, your organs have less and less room.  If you have any concerns about your breathing, be sure to consult with your health care provider.


Wondering what your 21-weeks pregnancy diet should look like? In addition to protein, folic acid, zinc, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), iodine, and vitamin A , one important nutrient – especially for women that are pregnant and following a vegan diet - is vitamin B12.   Since vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese, it takes a bit more attention for vegans to meet their dietary recommendation.  And, as vitamin B12 is needed for the production of red blood cells and helps the nervous system, it is especially important during pregnancy.  Vegans can find it in vitamin B12-fortified foods, such as some breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast, and in most prenatal multivitamins. Be sure to inform your health care provider if you are following a vegan diet, and she may have additional suggestions.


Heartburn been getting you down lately? Also called acid indigestion or acid reflux, heartburn is an unpleasant and quite common side effect of pregnancy. It’s caused by hormonal changes that relax the upper stomach opening and by the pressure of your growing baby. . This makes it easier than usual for stomach acid to get into the esophagus and that causes the uncomfortable feeling you’ve been experiencing. A change in eating habits can often be helpful: try five small meals a day instead of three large ones. Eat slowly and make sure you chew thoroughly. Drink fluids between meals, instead of at meals. Avoid coffee, colas, alcohol, and smoking. Avoid fried or greasy foods. Another trick if you suffer from indigestion at night is to prop up your head. Speak with your doctor if you are suffering from heartburn and before you take an antacid medicine.  



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