21 Weeks Pregnant
Although at 21 weeks pregnant most of your baby's nourishment still comes from you (through the placenta), your baby's intestines have developed enough so that small amounts of water and sugars can be absorbed from the amniotic fluid he or she swallows. This fluid will be passed through your baby's digestive system to the large bowel (but no further at this point).
Other fetal development occurring in your baby around 21 weeks of pregnancy includes the following:
- The continued maturation of body parts, tissues, and organs
- The heart grows stronger and the legs reach their relative proportions
- Vernix caseosa -- a protective skin covering -- is still being produced by your baby's oil glands
- The brown fat that your baby started producing back in the 4th month of pregnancy is now beginning to build up in places like the chest, crotch, and neck; this will help maintain body temperature
- Buds for permanent teeth are beginning to form.
Up until now, your baby's liver and spleen have been responsible for the production of blood cells. The fetal liver produces blood cells right up until the time of birth. However, now the bone marrow spaces are developed enough to contribute to blood cell formation as well.