At week 21 of pregnancy, you are finally halfway through the pregnancy. More than likely you are getting over some of the worst parts of pregnancy like morning sickness, and smells are probably not affecting you as much anymore either. While your babies growth is slowing down a bit, more than likely yours is not, and you are probably picking up a few more pounds.
One big thing you may be noticing is that you are constipated more than ever before. The reason this happens is because the body is releasing more progesterone than normal. This tends to make the body more relaxed, and it relaxes the muscles of the bowel as well. Since these muscles are relaxed, it takes more time to move waste through, which is resulting in your constipation. You may want to try eating more fiber, which can help.
Another thing you need to watch out for during week 21 of pregnancy and through the rest of your pregnancy is a urinary tract infection. The muscles in the urinary tract are relaxing as well, which means the risk of an infection is greater during this time. If you begin having pain when you urinate or it is difficult to urinate, be sure to see your doctor.
During week 21 of pregnancy, more than likely your doctor is going to let you begin to do some low impact exercise. This will help to keep you from gaining too much weight and it will also help keep varicose veins and bad backaches away as well. Exercises that are great for pregnant women include swimming, walking, and yoga; however, be sure to discuss any exercise you plan on doing with your doctor.
While you have probably been dealing with some swelling in your feet for some time, you may notice it even more during week 21 of pregnancy and beyond. You will probably want to take some time to rest and you should prop your feet up for awhile each day. If the swelling becomes severe, your doctor should be contacted.
Leg cramps may also show up at week 21 of pregnancy as well. They can be quite painful, but there are a few things that you can do to help. One thing you can do is to purchase a pregnancy pillow. You can use this pillow to prop your legs up at night while you are sleeping. Purchasing and wearing pregnancy stockings or a support belt may also help to alleviate the leg cramps as well. If you wear the pregnancy support stockings regularly, they may also help to prevent the varicose veins that some women develop during pregnancy as well.