You are 21 Weeks Exactly Pregnant

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21 Weeks Exactly

133 days to go...

face of human fetus at 21 weeks exactly

Your baby today

This image shows just how large the developing eyes are underneath the lids. At birth, your baby's eyes will be large and blue. There are no eyebrows or eyelashes yet, but this will be the first adult type of hair to grow.

Try to find ways to fit in small amounts of energizing exercise every day-you'll feel much better for it.

Maintaining your exercise routine while you're still working can be challenging. The last thing you may feel like doing is exercising after a day at work, especially as your pregnancy progresses. There are ways of exercising without a visit to the gym; it will just take some thought and planning. For example, every now and then, take the stairs, carefully, instead of the elevator, or get off the bus or train at a different stop, so that you walk some of the way. If there's a pool close to work, try to fit in an invigorating lunchtime swim. You'll feel much better in the afternoon.

Walk wherever you can, but be prepared: wear comfortable sneakers and take your work shoes in a bag with you. Remember to take some water with you when exercising, and keep hydrated throughout the day.

At night before you go to bed, try to fit in some abdominal exercises to strengthen those muscles.

Office workout

If your job involves sitting down all day, it's even more important to find ways to keep on the move.

  • Get up from your desk at least once every hour. Walk to speak to your colleagues instead of phoning or emailing them. Volunteer to get coffee for people — this will also make you very popular!
  • Try this exercise while seated: straighten your leg out in front of you (see below), keeping your thigh parallel to the floor. Then repeatedly bend and straighten your leg to help your circulation. Follow with flexing and pointing your foot from the ankle. Do each of these exercises at least 10 times with each leg.

Ask A... Doctor

I seem to have a lot of vaginal discharge. Is this normal?

Yes, in the second trimester you may find that you have more discharge than normal. This is usually clear, stringy, or full of mucus and shouldn't smell offensive. If the discharge changes, becoming thick, white, and causes itching, you may have developed a yeast infection, which is common in pregnancy and easily treated (see ... Your body).

You should see your doctor immediately if the vaginal discharge becomes yellow or greener, or offensive in smell; see your doctor too if you have burning when you urinate, or your external genitals become sore. This may be a sign that you have an infection that must be treated. Don't ignore any abnormal discharge since, although it won't directly affect your developing baby, an infection can increase the risk of you going in to premature labor.

You may find that you leak urine, especially when you cough, laugh, or run. This is called stress incontinence.

pregnancy day by day information book cover

Pregnancy Day by Day

By Consultant Editor, Paula Amato, MD

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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