At 17 weeks of pregnancy, you are in your second trimester. This is an exciting stage as you may start to feel your baby’s movements and your bump becomes more evident.
Let’s delve deeper into understanding your baby’s location, size, and development during the 17th week of pregnancy.
Location of Your Baby at 17 Weeks
Your baby at 17 weeks gestation is nestled within the uterus. The uterus itself has expanded from the pelvis and is growing into the abdomen.
Typically, the top of the uterus, known as the fundus, is halfway between your pubic bone and your navel at this stage.
However, the exact position can vary depending on factors like the mother’s body type, the number of pregnancies she’s had, and the number of babies she’s carrying.
Size of Your Baby at 17 Weeks
Your baby is growing rapidly and, at 17 weeks, is about the size of a pear or a pomegranate.
Specifically, your baby is approximately 5 inches long from crown to rump (the measurement doesn’t include the legs), and weighs around 5 ounces.
Remember that babies grow at different rates, and these measurements are just averages.
Baby’s Development at 17 Weeks
At 17 weeks, your baby is going through significant development.
Their skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord is growing stronger and thicker.
The sweat glands are developing, and your baby’s heart is now regulated by the brain to beat at 140 to 150 beats per minute.
In terms of looks, your baby is developing more defined facial features. They can move their joints, and their sweat glands are starting to develop.
Moreover, your baby’s hearing is developing, and they may start to hear your voice and heartbeat.
Feeling Your Baby Move at 17 Weeks
Around this time, you might start to feel your baby move, a sensation known as “quickening.”
These movements often feel like flutters, bubbles, or gentle nudges. For first-time moms, it might be harder to distinguish these early movements.
Don’t worry if you haven’t felt your baby move by 17 weeks. Some women might not feel these movements until 18 to 25 weeks.
Your Body at 17 Weeks
You may notice some physical changes in your body as well.
Your bump is likely showing, and you may have gained about 5 to 10 pounds.
You might also experience symptoms like backaches, constipation, and heartburn due to the growing uterus.
Moreover, your breasts are preparing for breastfeeding and may become larger and more tender.
Tips for 17 Weeks Pregnant
Maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients to support your baby’s rapid growth.
Continue taking prenatal vitamins, especially folic acid and iron.
Keep yourself hydrated and exercise regularly, such as taking walks or doing prenatal yoga.
Changes in Your Skin
During the 17th week of pregnancy, some women may observe changes in their skin. Some women report a ‘pregnancy glow,’ which is due to increased blood flow and oil production in the skin giving it a brighter look.
In some cases, the hormonal changes can cause ‘melasma’ or ‘chloasma,’ which are brown patches on the face.
Also, you may notice a dark line running from your belly button to your pubic bone. This is known as the linea nigra, and it’s quite normal.
Nutrition and Diet at 17 Weeks
To support your baby’s development, it is important to have a healthy diet. Include protein, calcium, iron, and folic acid in your meals.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish and walnuts, can aid your baby’s brain development.
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide necessary vitamins and fiber to keep you healthy.
Remember to stay hydrated and avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol.
Preparing for Your Next Scan
Your mid-pregnancy ultrasound, often known as the anatomy scan, usually happens between 18 to 20 weeks.
This scan will reveal more details about your baby’s development. You’ll also likely be able to see your baby moving around during the scan.
If the baby’s position permits, the sonographer may be able to tell you the baby’s sex.
Emotional Health at 17 Weeks Pregnant
Pregnancy can bring a range of emotions, and it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed at times.
Hormonal changes can impact your mood. It’s important to have a support system in place and to communicate your feelings with them.
If feelings of anxiety or depression persist, consider reaching out to a mental health professional.
FAQ About 17 Weeks Pregnancy
Is it normal to have pains at 17 weeks?
Some aches and pains are common due to the expanding uterus. However, severe or persistent pain should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately.
Can the baby hear me at 17 weeks?
Yes, at around 17 weeks, the baby’s hearing is developing, and they may start to hear your voice.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider during my prenatal visit?
During your prenatal visit, discuss any symptoms you’re experiencing. Also, ask about what to expect in the upcoming weeks and any lifestyle changes you need to make.
Should I be worried if I don’t have a baby bump at 17 weeks?
No, not necessarily. Every woman’s body is unique, and the timing of showing a baby bump can vary.
At 17 weeks, your pregnancy is becoming more real, as physical and emotional changes take place. Your baby is actively growing, and you might be experiencing the joy of their first movements. Proper diet, regular exercise, adequate rest, and regular check-ups are key during this stage of pregnancy.