At week 17 into your pregnancy, the body is frantically making adjustments to create space for the explosive growth of the fetus expected in the subsequent months. The baby’s facial expression continues developing in this week with the eyebrows and eyelashes starting to appear. It will be a week of intensive growth.
Your Baby at 17 Weeks Pregnant
By the 17th week, the baby has grown bigger and weighs 6 ounces and measures 5 inches long from the rump to the crown. He/she has started developing a layer of fat under the skin. More layers will be added in the coming weeks. The additional fat helps to provide the baby with warmth in the womb and even after birth.
The baby’s skin starts producing a white and greasy film referred to as vernix. This helps to protect the skin, internal organs, and aid in temperature regulation.
The baby’s toes and fingers continue developing so that they are completely differentiated. The toes continue developing for the remaining part of pregnancy and might even need trimming after birth. Another important thing about the baby at 17 weeks pregnant is the continued sucking of the thumb. However, you need to appreciate that the sucking is simply out of reflex. This sucking of the thumb serves several purposes:
- The baby practices how to suck so that sucking the mom’s breasts will be natural after birth.
- The sucking helps the baby to take some amniotic fluid through the mouth to practice the digestive system.
- Some of the amniotic fluid is sucked through the nose and helps with the development of the respiratory system.
By the close of week 17, the baby is busy working on the circulatory system. The blood vessels development that started developing a few weeks ago will intensify and some blood flow might be noticed towards the end of the week. However, clear blood flow will be evident in the coming weeks. The lymphatic flow system is also developing rapidly but its activity will not be noticeable until the subsequent weeks.
Now, the baby’s auditory senses are well developed and can easily pick noises in the neighborhood. Therefore, he/she keeps moving when sounds are made in the neighborhood. From this week going forward, it is advisable to stay away from loud noises that can frighten the baby. You should also avoid noisy confrontations.
Your Body at 17 Weeks Pregnant
The growing baby bump has now become big enough and people around you have no doubt that you are pregnant. The additional weight, multiple needs for you & baby, and hormonal changes can result in anxiety. As everything about the pregnancy becomes clear, you might start wondering about the changes that the baby will bring once it is born.
By now, you might have noted major changes in your breasts. Unlike in the previous weeks when they were simply enlarging and becoming tender, you will start noticing darker veins appearing on the breasts to help ease the flow of nutrients to make milk for the baby. The rate of breasts growth will also be faster. Therefore, it is advisable to go for a professional bra that properly supports the breasts without restraining their growth. If you had not started feeling the baby in week 16, you are likely to start getting the soft butterfly-like movements this week.
17 Weeks Pregnant is How Many Months?
At week 17, you are in the fourth month. This means you are about three weeks to mid-pregnancy. It also implies that most of the baby’s organs are formed and the rest of the development will largely be aimed at growth and organs’ differentiation. For example, bones, ligaments, muscles, and head are already formed.
17 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound
If you get an ultrasound scan this week, the genitals will be visible. Therefore, it is possible to know whether your baby is a boy or girl. You will also be able to see the differentiated toes and fingers. As the skin develops around the baby, the previously visible organs will become less clear from the ultrasound.
17 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
At 17 weeks pregnant, your body is packing additional weight faster than any previous week. By the end of the week, you will have added about 9-10 pounds. At this point, you should target taking highly nutritious food to stay healthy and support the developing new baby’s organs. Here are other symptoms to expect in the 17th week of pregnancy.
These are veins that develop in the rectum and get dilated because of high blood volume flow in the pelvic region. The problem is that they can be rather painful. You can soothe them using a warm bath and avoiding sitting for long periods. It is also important to seek help from a doctor.
At Week 17, your sleep is likely to get interrupted by leg cramps. Though what causes the cramps is unclear, you can reduce them by massaging the calf, staying hydrated, and wearing supportive shoes.
As the baby bump and breasts grow, they can cause itching and formation of stretch marks. To sooth the skin and reduce the itching, you should stay hydrated and use the right moisturizer.
Intensified Energy Levels
The moment you hit the second trimester, the body started experiencing heightened levels of energy. On the 17th week, the energy level will hit a notch higher and make you want to do more tasks. For example, though the baby bump is bigger, you will feel like doing more housework, gardening, and cooking. However, it is prudent to be cautious when doing these activities.
- Avoid using detergents with toxic chemicals.
- Consider doing the cleaning in well-ventilated areas.
- Keep off from fumes.
- Do not overwork.
A shift in Dream Life
This is one of the interesting symptoms some women experience during the second trimester. Though you sleep less because of leg cramps, heartburn, restless legs, and need to pee, the dreams become so vivid and regular. This is caused by heightened emotions about being a mom, what to anticipate, and life changes after birth.
Starting from week 17, you are likely to dream about friendly creatures such as kittens, chicks, and puppies. They signify that the mind is tuned in to instincts. Later in the third trimester, the dreams will give in to nesting instincts that make you want to keep preparing the baby’s clothes, plum, toys, and other related items.
Things to Do at 17 Weeks Pregnant
Increase the intake of iron
Because week seventeen marks the start of blood formation, you have to purpose taking more iron. This means eating foods rich in iron such as liver and iron-based supplements.
Talk to the baby more
Now that the hearing ability of the baby is developed, you need to talk to him/her regularly. Select a cool place or wake up at night and talk to the baby. Well, pick sweet words, recite a poem or even sing a song promising the baby greatness. It is the ultimate bonding moment.
Purpose to have more time with your partner
As the baby bump grows and thoughts of the changes ahead hit your head, you need to be as close as possible to your partner. Let him understand your worries so that you can walk the journey together. The assurance of a caring hand now and even after birth is enough to make week 17 and entire pregnancy blissful.
Attend your childbirth classes
Here, make sure to ask other moms and trainer how they handled things that are of concerns. For example, some ladies are worried about the baby being too big during birth. Go ahead and have a discussion with the doctor about these concerns.
17 Weeks Pregnant Checklist
- Research on healthcare providers. If you want to be attended by a specific doctor during delivery, this is the time to start looking.
- Keep recording details about the pregnancy in a diary. Be particular about the vaginal discharge, how often you feel the baby movements, and back pains.
- Buy professional fitting bras to use in the remaining part of pregnancy. Note that the breasts are likely to grow even bigger before and after delivery.
- Add more names on the baby name list.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor at 17 Weeks Pregnant
- Now that the baby is hearing and the sense of sight is developing, does sex have any impact on it? Should I continue having sex with my partner?
- Is it okay if I go for a professional massage?
When you hit week 17, the pregnancy is into the fourth month and only about five months are remaining. The baby is developing fast and baby bump can now be easily visible. You still have plenty of energy and the pregnancy is fun. Therefore, enjoy it, stay healthy, and prepare well for the remaining part.
Go forward to week 17.