17 Weeks Pregnant
17 Weeks Pregnant
You’re probably starting to feel like a pregnancy veteran at 17 weeks pregnant, and with good reason. Your body has gone through some profound changes in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy and will continue to do so as you enter week 17 and approach the halfway point of the entire gestational period.
Your baby has doubled in size over the last few weeks, now weighing around 150 grams and measuring between 12-14 centimetres. Additionally, the developments of your baby are making huge advances as it continues its preparation for life outside of the womb.
You probably still have lots of questions at this stage – will I still get any pregnancy symptoms at week 16? Can my baby hear my voice yet? What should my stomach look like? All of these, and more, are answered in this article about the seventeenth week of pregnancy.
17 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
Now that you’ve settled into the second trimester, the harsh early signs of pregnancy from the first weeks are no longer a worry, and you can start really enjoying your pregnancy. The symptoms you feel now will likely be more subtle, but they could still cause you some discomfort. Here are the most common 17-week pregnancy symptoms.
- Growing appetite
Morning sickness and an aversion to food are a thing of the past, now you probably want to eat anything and everything in your sight. The development of the fetus at 17 weeks requires a lot of nourishment, and it is understandable that your body craves more food. Try to make sure that your diet is balanced, and be sure to indulge in any healthy food cravings that you may be having.
The pregnancy hormone, progesterone, will continue to slow down your digestion throughout the duration of your pregnancy. Try to remain upright after eating to aid smooth digestion and avoid eating meals too fast as this can lead to indigestion.
- Back pain
One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy at 17 weeks is back pain. It affects around half of pregnant women and can become a major inconvenience. If the pain becomes too uncomfortable or unbearable, you should discuss the best treatments available with your medical practitioner.
Headaches during the second trimester are quite prevalent. For many women, they exacerbate throughout the second and third trimesters. It is a result of wild hormonal changes and increased blood flow. To counter the headaches, try to stay well hydrated, and consult your doctor about the possibility of taking a mild painkiller to relive the symptoms.
- Varicose veins
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of having varicose veins and spider veins. These veins are swollen and twisted veins that are usually painless. During pregnancy these veins are likely to occur around the lower pelvic area, the buttocks, and the inside of the legs.
- Increase in bodily fluids
Due to the increase in blood flow that accompanies pregnancy, it is a common symptom to experience an increase in bodily fluids such as sweat, mucus and vaginal discharge.
Your Body at Week 17
At 17 weeks pregnant, your baby is already very strong and is increasing in size every day. The size of your baby also affects your body, and you will notice extra weight, stretch marks, and an ever-expanding belly. If you haven’t done so already, it is a good time to start taking pictures of your belly, as it will increase in size quite dramatically from here on in – one day you might want to look back at this incredible development that’s happening inside your body.
If you’ve started some stretch marks that weren’t there before the pregnancy, don’t worry, most pregnant women will develop these. Drinking lots of water is a good way to try and minimise stretch marks if you are very concerned about them.
Inside your body, the placenta has developed many blood cells to accommodate the demand for oxygen and sustenance. Very soon, the placenta will also take over from the corpus luteum in producing vital pregnancy hormones.
Baby Size at Week 17
At this stage, your baby is about the same size as an average potato. The fetus at 17 weeks weighs around 150 grams and is about 12-14 centimetres in length. Every week, your baby looks more and more like a little human. At 17 weeks pregnant, the once vanilla seed sized embryo is beginning to develop hairs on its head. Fingernails and toenails are beginning to form, and the baby’s ability to grip are improving. The mouth can now open and close, but the eyelids are still fused shut.
Week 17 Pregnant Ultrasound
Week 17 is in between the usual time periods of the first and mid pregnancy scans. Therefore, it is not common for medical practitioners to schedule ultrasounds for this period. You may, however, have had a screening test, or cordocentesis. This test is for doctors to check for chromosomal abnormalities in your baby, and will often detect early signs of birth defects.
Some women begin to feel baby movements inside their belly at 17 weeks pregnant. It is also possible that you’ll feel some indigestion due to the increased levels of progesterone.
You should expect your body to start looking more pregnant. Others will likely begin to notice, if they haven’t already.
Many pregnant women enjoy the second trimester and feel great, thanks to the alleviation of the early signs of pregnancy that were experienced in the first weeks.
The uterus grows at the same rate as your baby grows. This means that your stomach will begin to develop a baby bump and belly will have a nice protruding curve where your womb is expanding.
Tips for Week 17 of Pregnancy
- Make decisions for the ultrasound
The mid-pregnancy ultrasound is around the corner, and many women opt to find out the gender of their baby. Some women don’t, however, now good be a good time to start thinking about whether or not you want to know your baby’s sex. Discuss it with a loved one and turn up prepared to the ultrasound.
- Manage heartburn and indigestion
The digestive complaints that result from the extra progesterone in your system can be extremely uncomfortable. If these problems have persisted throughout the first 17 weeks of pregnancy, you might want to consult your doctor about the best way to manage these symptoms.