- Week 13
- Week 14
- Week 15
- Week 16
- Week 17
- Week 18
- Week 19
- Week 20
- Week 21
- Week 22
- Week 23
- Week 24
- Week 25
- Week 26
- Week 27
As you start the 2nd half of your pregnancy, you'll be entering a period of rapid growth.
Your baby is getting ready for life outside the womb and developing essential skills including sucking and breathing.
What's happening in my body?
You may start feeling a little unsteady as your bump gets bigger. This is because your center of gravity has changed and your joints are looser.
If you have a tumble, try not to panic as your baby is well protected, but do let your midwife know as soon as possible.
If you travel on public transport, think about getting a baby on board badge to prompt other commuters to give up their seats.
Your baby is moving around a lot now, and establishing waking and sleeping patterns. The only trouble is, your baby may be wide awake when you are ready to sleep.
Have naps when you can to make up for lost sleep at night. Read more sleep tips.
Dump the junk food
A healthy diet, with lots of fresh fruit and veg, will give you more energy than junk food.
Research shows that if you eat well, your baby will too, and you're both less likely to get conditions like diabetes.
Try to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, and go for wholegrain, low-fat and low-sugar options when you're given the choice.
Here are some easy recipes you can try.
Simple food swaps
Swap takeaways for healthier and tastier homemade alternatives. Give these a go:
2nd trimester pregnancy symptoms (at 21 weeks)
This week, your signs of pregnancy could include:
- tiredness and sleeping problems (week 19 has information about feeling tired)
- stretch marks (read about stretch marks on week 17's page)
- swollen and bleeding gums (week 13 has information about gum health during pregnancy)
- pains on the side of your baby bump, caused by your expanding womb ("round ligament pains")
- piles (read about piles on week 22's page)
- indigestion and heartburn (week 25 talks about digestive problems)
- bloating and constipation (read about bloating on week 16's page)
- leg cramps (week 20 explains how to deal with cramp)
- feeling hot
- swollen hands and feet
- urine infections
- vaginal infections (see week 15 for vaginal health)
- darkened skin on your face or brown patches – this is known as chloasma or the "mask of pregnancy"
- greasier, spotty skin
- thicker and shinier hair
You may also experience symptoms from earlier weeks, such as:
- mood swings (week 8's page has information on mood swings)
- morning sickness (read about dealing with morning sickness on week 6's page)
- weird pregnancy cravings (read about pregnancy cravings on week 5's page)
- sore or leaky breasts (read about breast pain on week 14's page)
- a white milky pregnancy discharge from your vagina and light spotting (seek medical advice for any bleeding)
What does my baby look like?
Your baby, or foetus, is around 26.7cm long from head to toe. That's approximately the size of a carrot.
Your baby is now heavier than the placenta. The placenta basically doubles up as a larder and toilet, by providing food and removing waste. It will keep on growing during your pregnancy to do its vital work.
Meanwhile your baby has been developing a fine, downy layer of hair called "lanugo" – the purpose of this fur coat is probably to keep your baby at the perfect temperature, and it usually vanishes before the birth. Your baby is also developing hair and eyebrows.
Your baby can now hear noises and voices outside the womb. If you sing to your bump, no matter how bad it sounds, they will be your biggest fan.
Pregnancy can be a happy time, but for some it's stressful and there are lots of difficult decisions to make.
If you were given any unexpected news at your anomaly scan, you may be feeling very worried. Try talking through your options with your doctor or midwife.
You could also call the free helpline run by a charity called Antenatal Results and Choices.
Think about telling your work
You do not have to tell your employer for several more weeks, but as soon as you do, you will have maternity rights and can attend antenatal appointments during paid work time. You can also ask for a risk assessment of your work place.
If you want to wait, the latest you can leave it is 15 weeks before the baby is due, which is around week 25.
Start doing pelvic floor exercises
It's a good time to tone up your pelvic floor muscles. Gentle exercises can help to prevent leakage when you laugh, sneeze or cough.
Get the muscles going by pretending that you're having a pee and then stopping midflow.
Ask your midwife or doctor about online antenatal classes – they may be able to recommend one. The charity Tommy's has lots of useful information on antenatal classes and preparing you for birth.
Ask your partner if they would like to take part in the antenatal classes. Even if you've had children before, antenatal classes are still worth going to as you can meet other parents-to-be.
The NCT offers online antenatal classes with small groups of people that live locally to you.
Smoking, drinking and caffeine in pregnancy
Do your best to stop smoking and give up alcohol, and go easy on the tea, coffee and anything else with caffeine.
Ask your midwife or GP for support.
Vitamins in pregnancy
To keep bones and muscles healthy, we need vitamin D.
From late March/early April to the end of September, most people make enough vitamin D from sunlight on their skin. However, between October and early March, you should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement because we cannot make enough from sunlight.
Some people should take a vitamin D supplement all year round, find out if this applies to you on the NHS website.
You just need 10 micrograms (it's the same for grown-ups and kids). Check if you're entitled to free vitamins.
Exercising in pregnancy
It's recommended that you do 150 minutes of exercise a week while pregnant.
You could start off with just 10 minutes of daily exercise – perhaps take a brisk walk outside. Check out Sport England's #StayInWorkOut online exercises (scroll to the pregnancy section).
Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
There's no need to eat for 2. You do not need any extra calories until the third trimester, which starts in week 28.
You just need to eat healthily, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and avoid processed, fatty and salty foods. Have a look at our guide to healthy eating in pregnancy.
You may be able to get free milk, fruit and veg through the Healthy Start scheme.
You and your family should follow the government and NHS guidance on COVID-19:
To find out about about COVID-19 and pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, have a look at advice on the: