Week 21

Your Baby's Development

Pregnancy Calendar

The amniotic fluid that has cushioned and supported your baby in the uterus now serves another purpose. The intestines have developed enough that small amounts of sugars can be absorbed from the fluid that is swallowed and passed through the digestive system to the large bowel. Almost all of your baby's nourishment, however, still comes from you through the placenta.

Until now your baby's liver and spleen have been responsible for the production of blood cells. But now the bone marrow spaces are developed enough to contribute to blood cell formation as well, and bone marrow will become the major site of blood cell production in the third trimester and after birth. (The spleen will stop producing blood cells by week 30, and the liver will stop a few weeks before birth.)

Week 21

Your Body

Is exercise safe during pregnancy? Exercise can be a great way to stay in shape during pregnancy and can even keep some symptoms — such as varicose veins, excessive weight gain, and backache — to a minimum. But pregnancy is not the time to start training for a triathlon — going slowly is the name of the game. Because ligaments become more relaxed during pregnancy, you're at higher risk for injury, so low- or non-impact exercise such as yoga, swimming, and walking are your best bets. Talk to your health care provider before beginning any exercise program while you're pregnant.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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