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Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 21-25

Week 21

Baby: Your baby measures about 7.2 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 10.5 ounces. The fetus is steadily gaining fat to keep warm. Growth rate is slowing down but organ systems, like digestion, are continuing to mature. A waxy film, called the vernix caseosa, is being produced by your baby's oil glands and covers the skin to keep it supple in the amniotic fluid. Buds for permanent teeth are beginning to form.

Mom-to-be: Friends, relatives, even strangers can probably tell you're pregnant by now. Your uterus is starting to extend above your navel. You've probably gained between 10 and 14 pounds by now.

Pregnancy Week by Week

Pregnant Belly
If you are newly pregnant, or trying to conceive, you have many questions about what to expect. How will your body change? What's happening inside you? Here's what to expect week by week.

Tip for the Week: Start looking into childbirth classes if you haven't already.

Week 22

Baby: Your baby measures about 7.6 inches and weighs about 12.3 ounces. The muscles are getting stronger every week now, and the eyelids and eyebrows are developed. Your baby's acrobatics are pretty constant, and since he responds to sound, rhythm and melody, you can try singing and talking to him. After he's born, the same sounds will soothe him.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus is continuing to grow, but you're probably feeling pretty good -- no more morning sickness, and your abdomen isn't so large that it's getting in the way very much. You may still be getting leg and foot cramps, as well as mild swelling of ankles and feet.

Tip for the Week: To reduce cramping, increase your intake of calcium and potassium. Have a glass of milk before bedtime or snack on potassium-rich foods, such as grapefruits, oranges and bananas. If you do get a leg cramp, try forcing your toes back toward your face and pushing down on the knee to straighten your leg.

Week 23

Baby: Your baby is about 8 inches from crown to rump and weighs almost 1 pound. The body is becoming proportioned more like a newborn, but skin is still wrinkled because your baby still has more weight to gain. Lanugo hair on the body sometimes turns darker.

Mom-to-be: Your round belly is definitely noticeable by now. Weight gain will be about 12 to 15 pounds. Vaginal secretions that are typically clear-to-yellowish with a faint smell increase during pregnancy. Check with your practitioner if the color or odor changes significantly since it could signal an infection. You may still have aches in the small of your back. Lying down, massages and applying a heating pad or hot water bottle to the area can help.

Tip of the Week: As your skin continues to stretch, it may become dry and itchy. Keeping it moist with lotions or cream can help reduce these symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference

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