21 Weeks Pregnant
All About You
Now that your body is accustomed to your new addition, you’ll notice several pregnancy symptoms disappear: Nausea becomes a distant memory and fatigue more manageable. Your breasts and abdomen are less tender, but you may experience itchiness and see stretch marks as your body continues to expand. As your internal organs are pushed aside to make room for the growing fetus, you may have heartburn, indigestion, and bloating. Your mood swings lessen, but you may have more anxiety about labor and motherhood as the reality of your baby’s birth draws closer.
Bonding with Your Baby-to-Be
You don’t have to wait until your baby arrives to begin bonding. Throughout your pregnancy you may have thoughts and impressions about your baby-to-be’s personality. Maybe she constantly wiggles at a certain time of day, or her movements become less frequent when you’re listening to particular kinds of music. Try these simple ideas to feel closer your little one.
Talk to your baby-to-be: According to a 2005 study by Barbara Kisilevsky, a nursing professor at Queens University in Ontario, Canada, babies prefer their mothers’ voices even before they’re born. Kisilevsky, who conducted the research with a team of psychologists from Queens and obstetricians in Hangzhou, China, found that babies’ heart rates in utero accelerated at the sound of their mothers’ voices. You can help your baby get to know your voice by talking to him. Sing to him in the car, rattle off the ingredients as you cook dinner, or read to him. Let other family members in on the fun; your partner or other children can talk to your tummy, too!
Start a library for your little one: If this is your first child, you may not have any baby books in your home. Before your baby arrives, pick out stories you can share with her. You’ll be reading these stories over and over again, so choose carefully. (And remember, you don’t have to wait she’s born to start reading to her.)
Listen to music together: Your baby can hear sounds, including music, in utero (how well she hears it is still a matter of scientific study). While you may not convert your baby-to-be to your preferred bands, you’ll feel a connection to her as she kicks during your favorite tunes. Try picking an anthem for your baby—maybe a Beatles classic, a country ballad, or a calming lullaby.
Ready the nursery: Preparing your child’s room can help you envision what life will be like once he arrives. Choosing colors, picking out crib sheets, and adding decorations to plain walls may make your impending motherhood feel all the more real.
Buy baby clothes: Shopping for a little one can be fun. Just look at how small those newborn socks are! Display your finds on hangers in the nursery.
Blog your pregnancy: Help your family and friends know more about how you’re feeling through a website designed around your pregnancy. Post ultrasound pictures or—if you’re brave enough—pictures of your growing baby bump. Friends and family can offer support and share in your excitement.
Keep a journal of your thoughts: Take time to reflect on what it means to be carrying your child. Record these thoughts in a diary so that you’ll never forget how you felt during your pregnancy. You may even share this journal with your child once he gets older.
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