You have entered the final half of your term during pregnancy week 21. Although you might want to celebrate with a bottle of champagne, that's not the best course of action! Your baby is starting absorb tiny parts of everything that enters your body and depends on these nutrients to sustain life, continue to add weight, and to develop the brain. they also support the internal organs and nervous system.
As the first half of your pregnancy has passed, your new baby has come a long way. She or he started out as a microscopic cell and today measures about 27 centimeters long and can weight about 360 grams. From somebody that was the size of a grain of rice only 10 weeks ago – that's some pretty impressive growth! Your baby is starting to pack on that ‘all important’ baby fat, and by no coincidence; you are probably adding some extra baby weight, as well. This weight is very much needed. And don't worry mom – you'll have plenty of time to work it all back off once the baby arrives!
It's truly amazing how far along your baby has come in less than five months. By week 21, your baby has fully developed eyelids and eyebrows, and it's even highly probable that they've blinked a few times inside the womb. Want to hear something else amazing? Your baby now has fully developed taste buds and can taste flavors of foods that you are eating daily! It's not by coincidence that many children share similar tastes as their mothers.
The skin of your baby that was once very translucent is taking on a different look – as it now has a fine coating of a wax-type substance called Vernix Caseosa. Essentially, this is a protective shield that will protect their body from the effects of doing gymnastics inside your womb and being surrounded by amniotic fluid. When your baby is born, they will have some of this white 'stuff' on them – which will come off during their first bath.
By week 21 of your pregnancy you've most likely had two ultrasounds and a few more doctor visits – just to make sure everything is proceeding as planned. At this time, you should consider setting up your antenatal classes, or what most people commonly refer to as 'child birth class'. There are several resources that you can use to find the right fit of child birthing class (if that's the route you and your OBGYN have decided upon).
It's also common for soon-to-be-mommies to meet and socialize with other expectant mothers during these courses. Many medical experts agree that having somebody to share common pains, frustrations, and pregnancy experiences with who can relate to you on a personal level is very helpful – not just for the mommies – but for baby too. This can reduce your blood pressure and stress; which makes baby happy inside your womb.
It is very common during pregnancy week 21 that expectant mothers will spend more time connecting with their babies by rubbing their belly, talking to the baby, and even singing. However, this is a perfect time to get your partner and other family members in on the act as well. Reading stories, playing certain music or simply humming is very southing for babies. Research has shown through programs like Baby Einstein for example – that many forms of classical music can stimulate creative development while the baby is still in the womb, and even shortly after birth.