Your Nutrition – Pregnancy Week 21

Your Nutrition – Pregnancy Week 21

Second Trimester


In pregnancy week 21, with an active baby growing inside, you might start to focus on the excitement of the birth to come. Continuing to eat right and exercise regularly now can make that big day easier. Check out the key nutrient and preparation you need for this week!

Your Nutrient of This Week

Don’t forget the iron! With your body hard at work producing red blood cells, at your 21st week of pregnancy, be sure you are getting at least 27 mg of iron each day to avoid the risk of anaemia.

Your Wellness Tips This Week

Prep for childbirth
Attend childbirth preparation classes! It is one of the best ways for you and your partner to prepare for labour and delivery.

  • Your doctor can probably suggest classes that are a good match for the kind of birth you want.
  • Expectant parents usually take classes between months six and seven of pregnancy.
  • Classes often include six to eight sessions across the same number of weeks, or offer more condensed weekend options.
  • Trained childbirth educators provide comprehensive, helpful information about labour and delivery that extends well beyond breathing techniques.
  • It is an ideal way to learn more and ease any fears or apprehension you might feel.


Your dental health

Healthy teeth and gums are the way to go.

  • This is one of the best times to focus on your dental health. Don’t let sensitive, even bleeding gums keep you from brushing, flossing, and caring for your teeth.
  • Switch to a softer toothbrush and keep regular dentist visits — just let them know you are pregnant.
  • You are more susceptible to gingivitis while pregnant, so be consistent with flossing.
  • Choose toothpaste with fluoride and avoid sugary snacks at times when you cannot brush between meals. Your teeth and your post-pregnancy waistline both thank you!

Your Baby's Development at Week 21

By your 21st week of pregnancy, not only have your baby’s important systems developed, but many of them now are operating, in preparation for functioning on their own after birth:

  • Your baby might be about 18 cm in length, roughly the length of a carrot, by 21 weeks pregnant. She weighs almost 0.3 kg.
  • Your baby’s digestive system is put to work! By your 21st week of pregnancy, your baby has probably begun swallowing amniotic fluid and absorbing small amounts of sugar from it:
    • Sugars pass through her developed digestive system, giving these organs important practice.
    • These sugars only make up a tiny part of your baby’s nourishment.
    • Most of her nutrition still is delivered through your placenta and the umbilical cord.
    • Your amniotic fluid changes day to day, based on what you’ve eaten. Since your baby is swallowing the fluid, she gets a “taste” of what you are eating!
  • Your baby’s bone marrow is making red blood cells, rather than their liver and spleen.
  • By your 21st week of pregnancy, your baby’s arms and legs are in proportion.
  • As muscles strengthen and neurons connected to the baby’s brain continue to develop, movements become more coordinated.

Your Changing Body at Week 21

As you enter your 21st week of pregnancy, you start the second half of your pregnancy! This week and in those to come, you probably will notice many of the same changes you have experienced before.

  • Your blood pressure might continue to remain slightly lower than normal. Expect it to return to normal by 25 weeks pregnant.
  • As long as you are taking in enough iron, your body makes more blood, including more red blood cells.
  • Your breasts may continue to grow larger and are probably already prepared to produce milk at 21 weeks pregnant!
    • You even might see tiny drops of watery or yellowish fluid appearing on your nipples, even this early. This is early breast milk, called colostrum.
    • Don’t worry if your breasts do not leak at any time during pregnancy. That is normal and does not affect whether you are able to breastfeed after your baby’s birth.
  • Although most women gain 0.5 kg a week during this time, you might notice that one week you gain a little more and another week a little less. The key is to keep your weight gain stable, overall.
  • Other common symptoms such as lower-back pain and vaginal discharge may continue during your 21st week of pregnancy.

* Comparison among all maternal milk in Singapore as of January 2022, as declared on the label.

SG.2022.23688.SMM.1 (v1.2)