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Week 21
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 19 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
Five MonthsThe rapid growth phase begins to slow down this week. The heart grows stronger this week, and the legs are reaching their relative proportions.

Multiples: The babies are kicking each other frequently as they move around. The membrane separating them is very very elastic so don't worry about them kicking each other. They are well protected and the membrane won't rupture from their activity.

Maternal Changes:
Over halfway there, and you're probably showing now. Your uterus is about 1/2 inch above your belly button. The average weight gain is between 10 and 15 pounds at this point. If you're eating a healthy diet, don't count pounds and calories too strictly. Emotionally, you're probably feeling more stable and comfortable.

Your ankles and feet may be swelling, particularly at the end of the day. Drink lots of water and rest with your feet elevated.

Multiples: Fluid retention can be exacerbated in a multiple pregnancy. Rest, drink lots of fluids, and put those poor feet up.

Ideas for Partners:
With the second trimester being the easiest, this is a good time for planning and preparing together. The "pukiness" of the first trimester is (hopefully) a memory, and the heaviness of the third trimester is yet to come. Now is a good time to do something special together like taking a vacation or a weekend away (check with your caregiver first about travel). If you can't get away, use the time to grow closer and spend quality time together.

Inspirational Thoughts:
Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by. ~Carl Sandburg

Reading:
Baby on Board: Becoming a Mother without Losing Yourself by Joelle Jay and my Kovarick, published by AMACOM, 2007.

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