Pregnancy week 21 – 24: Tips for Pregnant Mums
Now that you are almost at the last leg of your second trimester of this pregnancy, the next few weeks are going to be exciting as a Fetal Anomaly scan is usually conducted on Week 22 of pregnancy.
This scan is done to check if your baby’s organs are developing normally. The sonographer will use an advanced ultrasound machine to scan your baby to detect anyanomalies. During this scan,you will also know the gender of your baby, if you haven’t already found out during prior chromosome tests.
Want to inject some fun during pregnancy? Hold a gender reveal party and have friends and family guess the gender of your baby!
Week 21: Carrot
At this stage, the length of your baby is almost as long as a carrot, as it gains fat to keep warm for life outside the womb. In these few weeks, they will be developing their organs. Buds for permanent teeth are forming. Your baby’s skin is transparent and turning from pink to red as blood vessels form underneath.
At 21 weeks, your bump will change your centre of gravity and could make you feel clumsy. Slowing down your pace may help with establishing balance.
Week 22: Coconut
In some hospitals, week 22 is when the Fetal Anomaly Scan is conducted. Your baby will be carefully scanned via ultrasound to see if its organs are intact and normal. The sonographer will be able to tell you your baby’s gender. Your baby’s eyes have formed but the irises are still devoid of pigment. If your baby is a girl, mammary glands will start forming from this week. If your baby is a boy, his testes will start lowering into the scrotum.
A gender reveal party can be a fun event where your families and friends gather to guess your baby’s gender!
Do you find that your skin is glowing and your hair is shining? This is due to the extra moisture that your body is absorbing. The increased blood that is pumping in your pregnant body contributes to making your skin glow too.
Pregnant mums need a healthy diet to ensure both mum and baby gets sufficient nutrients for healthy development.
Week 23: Grapefruit
Your baby’s hearing is becoming sharper. The sounds that were muffled are now becoming clearer. Apart from your heartbeat and voice, your baby will start to hear sounds that are further away, like the sound of construction or an ambulance siren. Your baby may respond to sounds in-utero, so continue talking, reading and even singing to your baby!
Constipation or lethargy may hit you due to progesterone, a pregnancy hormone. Bowel movement may become irregular as your baby places pressure on your rectum and slows your system down. Constipation is a symptom that affects about half of all pregnant women. Consuming more fibre can alleviate this problem. If you encounter bleeding from your bottom, let your gynaecologist know.
Week 24: Cantaloupe
Your baby at 24 weeks is considered to be “viable”, which means that if he or she were to be born unexpectedly, his or her lungs may have developed sufficiently to allow her a chance at survival, with close treatment and monitoring in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Extreme prematurity is uncommon and if your pregnancy has been smooth, it is likely that your baby will be born at full term. Your baby’s brain is growing rapidly and he or she is practising various facial expressions in the womb.
If you’re intending to travel, it’s good to note that you will require a medical certificate from your gynaecologist approving travel between Week 29 and Week 36 (uncomplicated single pregnancy) and Week 29 and Week 32 (uncomplicated multiple pregnancy).
To accommodate your new body shape, did you also start buying maternity clothing or breastfeeding apparel during your second trimester?