The umbilical cord is wrapped around the legs in this human foetus just over 20 weeks old.

Week 21


While you still have your second trimester energy, it may be a good time to sort out the baby’s room. Some parents stop at putting the bassinette in the corner of the bedroom, and hold off on decorating the walls until the baby is old enough to tell them what colour he or she would like them painted. Others stencil pictures on the walls, repaint the furniture and change the curtains to a more child-friendly design.
Discuss your nursery expectations with your partner and settle on whatever feels right to both of you. The essentials include a cot, a place to store the baby’s clothes (like a set of drawers or a cupboard), a baby car seat. The stuff that’s useful includes a changing table (but the bed or the floor will do just fine), a baby bouncer, an armchair in which to snuggle up while feeding the baby (whether breast or bottle), a bookshelf for toys and baby books. Nice-to-haves include things like an automatic nappy disposal system for throwaway nappies (it wraps and seals every dirty nappy in a multi-layer anti-bacterial film, thus locking away microbes and smells) or a soaking bucket for cloth nappies. (We’ll talk about baby clothes and breast pumps in a later section.)


If you have any house maintenance projects on the go, from fixing that leaky tap and repairing the back stairs to building a new shed, finish them now, while you still have some spare time.

Have a special think about the baby’s room. Is it dry? Does it need to be insulated? Would it be worthwhile to invest in a heat pump? Do the windows stick on opening? Is there a source of dim light for changing nappies at night, as well as a source of bright light for examining the baby’s skin colour and rashes? Are the curtains or shades dark enough to offer a complete blackout in daytime? This last feature is very useful during those long summer evenings when the sun doesn’t go down till 9pm.


At 21 weeks, we stop measuring you head to bum. So this week, the length of your entire body from head to toes is approximately 25cm, in other words, that of a big carrot. Of course, you are not as thin as a carrot, which is why your mum’s tum looks nice and round. Newsflash: You now have eyebrows, and you’re moving around heaps more.

Photos in the are by Lenart Nilsson. Lenart's series was bought to fame when his photo, considered the greatest photo of the 20th century, appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1965. “Everyone interprets images differently, depending on their social, cultural and religious background. In the digital era, I believe it is more important than ever to go back and take a look inside ourselves. What better way of doing that than with these photos?” ~ Jane Stene, art gallery director and curator of Lenart's definitive black and white series, told the The Guardian in 2019. It is Lenart Nilsson's wish that his images are never used for political debate about pro-life.

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