Week 21 of Pregnancy
How big is your baby? About the size of a large banana — and speaking of bananas, if you eat one this week, there's a good chance your baby will get a taste, too. That's because she swallows a bit of amniotic fluid each day (for nutrition, hydration, and to practice digesting), so she eats whatever's on your menu. In other (not so welcome) news, you may start to notice some stretch marks as your body expands and your belly and breasts just keep on growing. These pink, red, or purple streaks appear when the supporting tissue under your skin gets torn as skin stretches (and stretches and stretches) during pregnancy. Not every woman gets them, though you're a likely candidate if your mom had stretch marks during her pregnancy or if you've gained weight rapidly.
Week 21 Pregnancy Tip: Anxiety
No, that's not the beach ball you lost last summer — there's really a baby in there! Now that you're starting to look pregnant (and not just like you were spending too much time with the Ben & Jerry's) and those kicks can no longer be mistaken for gas, the reality of pregnancy is probably beginning to sink in. And with it, you may find, a few ambivalent feelings you're even ambivalent about admitting. Don't worry — and hang on. At some point in pregnancy (and usually once that pregnancy becomes a very visible reality) just about every expectant mother (and father!) begins to feel anxiety and fear as though she's on a runaway train — with enormous changes coming round the bend. And not only is it completely normal to feel anxious — it's especially healthy to acknowledge it. Talk your feelings over with your friends who've had babies, and they're sure to reassure you that they experienced the same kind of anxiety. (Me a mom? There must be some mistake!) Most important, discuss your fears with your partner, who's probably just as in need of a good heart-to-heart.