Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 21-25

Week 21

Video Transcript

WebMD Pregnancy App.

Your baby grows and changes fast during your second trimester. Here's an inside peek at her amazing progress! By week 13, she's as large as a lemon -- about 3 inches long. And she's learning how to swallow by taking an occasional gulp of the amniotic fluid around her. Next week, she's a little bigger -- the length of a bell pepper. But by week 15, your baby could be the size of a large russet potato -- around 6 inches long. Her bones get harder and stronger during week 16. Now she can flex her arms and legs. Plus, her eyes can slowly move around behind closed lids. Next week she's the size of an asparagus spear -- almost 8 inches long. And she's on the move, doing flips and rolls. She can also make a fist and hold it to her mouth. Her face gets more defined during week 18. Those little eyelids, ears, and upper lip all come into sharper focus. Plus, she can hear sounds now. Your little one maybe over nine inches long -- about the size of an eggplant -- by week 19. Her lungs' main airways start to form. Something super adorable happens in week 20 -- your baby puts her feet and toes in her mouth. She also gets lots of sleep. Noise and movement can wake her up -- so keep it down, would ya? (Just kidding.) Next week your 10 and 1/2-inch tot is making strong kicks and turns. She's also forming brown fat for warmth. Your baby's genitals are completely formed around week 22. It's possible to see her eyebrows now, too. And soft, warm hair called lanugo covers her. By week 23, her fingers and toes look like tiny versions of yours -- and they've got fingerprints. Plus, your little one now has a secret talent: she can hiccup. At week 24 your baby is pineapple-sized -- about 12 1/2 inches long-- and 1 1/2 pounds. She could survive outside your womb if she was born now. Your little one knows the sound of your voice at week 25. She can recognize other familiar sounds too ... when she's not sleeping. She snoozes 80% of the time now. By next week, she knows how to suck -- and she'll probably try that skill out on her thumb. At the end of your second trimester on week 27, your little one is the length of an English cucumber -- over 14 inches long. And all that moving around is paying off, giving her more and more muscle tone.

Continued

Baby: Your baby is steadily gaining fat to keep warm. Growth rate is slowing down, but its organs are still maturing. Your baby's oil glands are making a waxy film, called the vernix caseosa, that covers the skin to keep it supple in the amniotic fluid. Buds for permanent teeth are beginning to form.

Mom-to-be: You're starting to show! Your uterus is starting to extend above your navel. You've probably gained 10-14 pounds by now.

Tip of the Week: If you're interested in childbirth classes, now's a good time to start looking for one.

Week 22

Baby: Your baby's muscles are getting stronger every week now, and the eyelids and eyebrows are developed. Your baby moves a lot and responds to sound, rhythm, and melody. If you sing and talk to your baby now, those sounds may later soothe your newborn.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus is still growing, and you're probably feeling pretty good -- no more morning sickness. You may still be getting leg and foot cramps, though, and mild swelling of your ankles and feet.

Tip of the Week: To curb cramping, eat more 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 flexing your toes back toward your face and keeping your leg straight.

Week 23

Baby: Your baby's skin is still wrinkled because your baby still has more weight to gain. Fine hair, called lanugo, on the body sometimes turns darker.

Mom-to-be: You've probably gained about 12-15 pounds. While pregnant, you may notice an increase in vaginal secretions that are typically clear-to-yellowish with a faint smell. If the color or odor changes significantly, check in with your health care provider to see if you have an infection. Does the small of your back ache? Lying down, getting massages, and applying a heating pad or hot water bottle to the area can help.

Tip of the Week: As your skin stretches, it may become dry and itchy. Keeping it moist with lotions or creams can help.

Continued

Week 24

Baby: Your baby is starting to make white blood cells, which will help it fight off disease and infection, and may respond to your touch or sounds. If you haven't felt the baby hiccup yet, you might now.

Mom-to-be: Expect to gain about a pound per week this month. Your health care provider may test you for gestational diabetes between this week and 28 weeks.

Tip of the Week: Your partner might be able to hear the baby's heartbeat by putting an ear to your abdomen.

Week 25

Baby: Your baby's skin now becomes opaque instead of transparent. The baby's body is still covered with folds, as it needs to grow into its skin. Heartbeat can be heard through a stethoscope or, depending on the position of the baby, by others putting an ear against your belly.

Mom-to-be: Besides your uterus growing upward, it may be getting bigger on your abdomen's sides. You may have hemorrhoids, caused by increased blood flow, constipation, indigestion, and heartburn.

Tip of the Week: To soothe hemorrhoids, apply an ice pack or witch hazel, or try a sitz bath (soaking your bottom in shallow warm water). Over-the-counter suppositories and/or medicated wipes may also help. Don't take laxatives or mineral oil.

What's Happening Inside You?

By the end of the sixth month, your baby's finger and toe prints are visible. The eyelids begin to part and the eyes open.

24 Weeks

Your baby may respond to sounds by moving or increasing the pulse, and you may feel the baby hiccupping.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on September 12, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:
Mayo Clinic.com: "Fetal development: What happens during the second trimester?"
American Pregnancy Association web site: "Pregnancy and Hemorrhoids."

© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Pagination

Subscribe to the Pregnancy & Child Development Newsletter.

Get essential updates about your growing baby and what to expect each week.

Sign Up