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   Pregnancy Through  
        The Weeks

Weeks 1-4
Weeks 5-8
Weeks 9-13
Weeks 14-16
Weeks 17-20
Weeks 21-24
Weeks 25-28
Weeks 29-32
Weeks 33-37
Weeks 38-40
Weeks 40+



WEEKS 21 – 24

You are now midway through your pregnancy. Pregnancy starts becoming more and more obvious to those around you. Your body is fast undergoing various external and internal changes. It is time to prepare yourself to the 2nd half of your pregnancy or the "POST INTERMISSION" session of your pregnancy.

Common Complaints

Your body has to adapt itself to accommodate the little one within you and also to provide your baby with all its basic needs. The uterus has also grown significantly large to be obvious to others.The levels of various hormones circulating in your body are also high. You may experience various symptoms like:

  1. Heart Burn : This is due to relaxation of the valve at the lower end of the oesophagus or the gullet leading to reverse flow of food and acid.
  • This can be taken care of by eating a non-spicy and non-oily diet.
  • Eating small and frequent meals.
  • Not lying down immediately after meals.
  • Keeping your head elevated while sleeping.
  • Antacids may be taken if prescribed by your doctor.
  1. Insomnia: due to abdominal discomfort and increase frequency of micturation. For avoiding sleeplessness refer to Insomnia      
  2. Itching : This is due to changes in the levels of liver enzymes and liver products. Applying calamine lotion can reduce it. If severe and uncontrollable, then consult your doctor.
  3. Swelling of feet : This is due to the increased fluid content of the body and also due to the pressure exerted by the enlarging uterus on the veins carrying blood from the legs to the heart leading to stagnation.

This can be reduced by

  • Adequate rest
  • Leg elevation
  • Sleeping on your left side as much as possible rather than on your back
  1. Fatigue : This is due to the increase in your weight, increase in the blood being pumped by your heart and due to some degree of anaemia. The only cure is good diet, regular exercise and adequate rest        Sleep for at least 2 hours in the afternoon and 8 hours at night.
  2. Aching of lower ribs : Due to pressing of the lower ribs by the enlarging uterus. This can be minimized by maintaining a good posture while sitting and by exercise involving lifting your arms over your head.
  3. Varicose Veins may increase in size :   .
  4. Craving for certain foods :    

Foetus / Your Baby Inside

The foetus is very active now and the movements can be appreciated more frequently. The head starts to grow in proportion to the rest of the body. The period of foetal movement may be followed by quiet or sleep pattern where the foetus does not move and goes off to sleep. At 24 weeks an ordinary stethoscope can hear the foetal heartbeat. The length of the foetus at the end of the period is 12 – 13" i.e.: approximately 30 cms.



 (Simple way to calculate the length of your foetus in cms is =square of (lunar months of pregnancy) if pregnancy is less than 5 lunar months= (lunar months of pregnancy)X 5 if pregnancy is proceeded beyond 5 months If you have completed 16 weeks i.e. 4 lunar month, the length of the foetus will be square of (4) = 16 cms.If you have completed 24 weeks i.e. 6 lunar months the length of the foetus = 6 X 5 = 30 cms.

Your Body and You:
There will be a noticeable change in your waistline, hips and tummy. You may have put around 6 kg weight over your pre pregnant state. The pad of fat on your buttock and breasts is on the rise.The swelling on your feet may have increased and your slippers and shoes might feel disconcertingly tight . The baby’s movement can not only be felt, but also seen.Your hair and skin needs more attention as they undergo a turn for the worse, though not always. It is still believed by many that if you glow during pregnancy then you carry a girl and if you look tired and haggard you have a boy within. This though does not have any scientific basis.Emotionally you are much better except that there might be an anxiety regarding about the future and also the present changes taking place.

Visit To Your Doctor:     

  • Apart from the other things mentioned you may be given your 2nd shot of tetanus toxoid vaccine ( 4 – 6 weeks after the 1st)

Possible Problems:      

Important Instruction:    

Apart from the other instructions mentioned earlier, some things that you should take care of during this period are:

  1. Your hair and skin need extra care during this period as they may be badly affected by the increasing hormonal levels.Dry hair becomes drier and oily hair oilier. In women with dry hair conditioner and less use of hair drier may be useful. Regular washing of oily hair may also help.Your skin sensitivity might be increased, hence do not experiment with new cosmetic products. It is safe to use make up especially to hide the dark pigmentation of your face and the dark circles around your eyes. Slices of cucumber or wet cotton pads can produce soothing relief to your tired eyes.Nails may become brittle and chip off. You can use nail paints and nail strengthening enamels to prevent this.
  2. You can take some time off and make a list of baby names.

  3. This is also the right time to start planning out your baby’s room decoration and ward robe.
  4. In the west, childbirth classes are a routine affair attended by the expecting couples or the pregnant woman and her friend/relative or labor partner.These classes are slowly making their presence felt even in India, especially the metros.


Recommended:  book
"The new parent"
by author Martha


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