You and Your Baby at Week 17 of Your Pregnancy

Your baby is the size of a pomegranate!

(10 minute read)

You and Your Baby at Week 17 of Your Pregnancy

Week 17

The process of pregnancy is a miracle of life, with each week bringing new developments and experiences. As you enter week 17, you're well into the second trimester, a phase often considered the most comfortable and enjoyable period of pregnancy. This week marks significant growth and changes for both you and your baby. So, what fascinating developments occur at this stage?

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How Big is Baby at 17 Weeks?

At 17 weeks, your baby is growing rapidly. Imagine a pomegranate - that's roughly the size of your baby now, measuring about 12 cm from crown to rump and weighing around 140 grams. This comparison gives a tangible idea of your baby's size, but remember, each baby grows at its own pace.

There's also a lot of activity in your womb, and now is the time when you might start to feel your baby moving, twisting, and turning.

At 17 weeks, your baby is able to move his or her eyes, (although they are still shut at the moment), react to sounds and open and close the mouth.

The fingernails are starting to grow.

Week 17 Fetus (1)

Your Body at 17 Weeks

Your body is continuously adapting to accommodate the growing baby and placenta, which is constantly feeding your baby and removing any waste products. You might notice several physical changes:

Increased Belly Size: As your baby grows, your belly expands. You may start to show more prominently now.

Weight Gain: A gradual increase in weight is normal. The amount varies from person to person, but on average, you might gain about 5 to 10 pounds by this point.

Breast Changes: Your breasts continue to grow and may feel tender as they prepare for breastfeeding.

Glowing Skin: Many women experience a pregnancy glow, thanks to increased blood circulation and hormonal changes.

 


Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 17

Pregnancy symptoms can vary widely, but here are some common ones you might experience at 17 weeks:

Increased Feelings of Anxiety and Stress: This is due to the upheaval of pregnancy hormones and is one of the more unpleasant side effects to have to deal with.

Increased Appetite: With your baby growing, your body needs more nutrients. You might feel hungrier than usual.

Tiredness: Tiredness as well as insomnia can be real problems.

Round ligament pains: These occur on the sides of your bump, and are due to the expansion of your womb.

Occasional Headaches: Hormonal changes and increased blood volume can lead to headaches.

Stretch Marks: You might notice stretch marks beginning to form on your stomach, breasts, bottom and thighs. These are as a result of hormone changes as well as the skin stretching.

Nasal Congestion: Increased blood flow to the mucous membranes can cause the lining of your nose to swell, leading to stuffiness. Nose bleeds can also occur.

Forgetfulness: Pregnancy brain is real! Hormonal changes and fatigue can affect your memory and concentration.

Constipation and Bloating: These are due to the increase in progesterone.

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy at 17 Weeks

Balanced Diet: Focus on a nutritious diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

Regular Exercise: Engage in moderate exercise like walking or prenatal yoga, but avoid overexertion.

Prenatal Vitamins: Continue taking prenatal vitamins to ensure you and your baby get essential nutrients like folic acid and iron.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help prevent urinary tract infections, which are common during pregnancy.

Rest and Relaxation: Get plenty of rest, and don't hesitate to take short naps during the day if needed.

Preparing for the Future

While enjoying this phase, start planning for what's ahead. Consider prenatal classes, discuss maternity leave with your employer, and start thinking about baby names and nursery ideas, as well as where you would like to give birth.

As your baby develops and your body adapts, it's important to take care of yourself and enjoy this unique time in your life. Remember, every pregnancy is different, so trust your instincts and consult with your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns. Embrace this special time as you prepare for the exciting arrival of your new family member.

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