Congratulations! You are half through your pregnancy. Your womb has probably expanded up to your navel. You should be able to feel the movements of your baby better. One major discomfort of pregnancy is leg cramps and it could continue well into your pregnancy. There is bound to be an increase pressure in blood circulation in your body. A this stage, the frequency of hot flushes, dizziness and sweating will increase while irregular changes in the blood pressure are not unexpected. These recurring changes in the blood vessels are little fluctuations which help the blood vessels gradually enlarge and become more flexible to accommodate the flow of blood. The pigmentation on your skin will also become more noticeable and in some pregnancy, a cluster of tiny red spots resembling spider’s webs are visible. Excessive weight gain could make the pregnancy and birth of your baby harder and shedding the extra weight after birth could be difficult. Maintain a healthy diet and choose nutritious foods that will be nourishing for you and your baby.
The bones in your baby’s skull, spinal column, arm and leg bones are now stronger. The lungs, digestive and nervous systems have stared developing. His/her genitals are now fully developed, the eyelids are generally closed; however, the eyes can move left to right. The reddish colour of his/her wrinkled skin begins to lighten. The outer ears are formed and hearing is known to be sufficiently developed during these weeks as proven by reactions to loud sounds. You can now have your baby listen to music. At this stage, the baby may swallow some amniotic fluid and sometimes, it is possible to observe the movements of his/her mouth on the ultrasound images. Hiccups, the initial breathing movements of your baby, also start in the early second trimester.
At the end of the 21st week the baby should be approximately 20 cm long and weigh 450 grams.
Detailed ultrasound examination
After the 20th week of pregnancy, it is advisable to consult a perinatology specialist (Risky Pregnancy Specialist) and have a detailed ultrasonography conducted. Measurements taken in this detailed screening help determine if your baby is proportionate in size to the known dates and the development is compared expected results for this stage. A detailed examination of the brain, spinal cord, arms, legs and all internal organs is conducted during this process.