In just the last two weeks, the baby has doubled this week! In week 17 of pregnancy, the fatty tissues start to form, it helps your baby to produce heat and boost metabolism. It is common for women to gain weight at this stage of pregnancy. You may notice that your bump has grown from last week. You are almost halfway through and there is so much to do and it can be overwhelming.
- What does week 17 of pregnancy look like?
- Fetal development at week 17
- What are the symptoms?
- Self-care tips
- Special considerations and complications
- Visit the doctor
- Important checklist for week 17 pregnancy
What does week 17 of pregnancy look like?
The baby is getting bigger and stronger, growing by 1-2 pounds per week. At week 17, you are four months pregnant. This is the time to start making some form plans, making firm plans about your tests and scans and childbirth class you would like to take. You are halfway in your pregnancy and have dealt with a lot more symptoms. Now that you are looking more pregnant with a big bump, your relatives and friends will have a tendency to reach out and touch your belly!
You will also notice that during your second trimester, you not only notice relief in morning sickness but also an increase in the appetite. It is your baby which is getting bigger and hungrier. During this time, you may worry about relationships and you might get anxious and stressed.
Pregnancy hormones are to be blamed, along with a mental disturbance of labor and responsibility as a parent. If you feel anxious and worried, don’t be scared to get help from your healthcare provider. You can also seek help from self-help groups for pregnant women.
Fetal development at week 17
The baby is now the size of a pomegranate, a little more than 5 inches in length, and weighs around 6 ounces.
- The fat tissues in the baby are developing. This helps to release heat and kickstart metabolism. It first appears on the face, neck, and over the front side of the body, slowly spreading to the back of the body, arms, and legs.
- Muscles and bones continue to grow and get stronger.
- The umbilical cord and placenta are developing and growing. Umbilical cord nourishes the body and the placenta delivers necessary nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. It is also known as a life support system for the baby.
- Sucking and movements are among the sensory actions the baby is learning. Swallowing movements with the mouth help the baby to feed over amniotic acid which contains the flavor of the food taken by the mother.
- The heartbeat of the baby is churning out 140 to 150 beats in a minute.
- The fingerprints start to develop and continue to form
What are the symptoms?
Having a stuffy nose can make your snore. Even your nose if affected by the pregnancy hormones. Try using a humidifier or safe nasal spray to open up your nasal passages.
Nasal congestion and bleed
Another side effect that triggers snoring is nasal congestion and nose bleed. The cause is known, however, the increase in blood flow causing pressure over the blood vessels is a possible explanation.
Lower and pelvic pain
The growing uterus and stretching muscles is the cause of the pelvic pain in most of the pregnancies.
Heartburn and indigestion
The pregnancy hormones can slow down your digestion process and relax your stomach sphincter muscles, making the acid and food travel up through the esophagus and cause heartburn and indigestion.
Visit a dentist
Pregnancy hormones can make your gums weak, making the gums sore and bleed. This usually stops post-delivery, but you may have pain in your gums despite proper oral health.
Intake necessary vitamins
Including prenatal vitamins in your diet is necessary right from the first week of the pregnancy. The daily requirement of calcium in pregnancy is 1-1.5 gm. Without it, the baby may have soft and weak bones, resulting in being diagnosed with rickets. Vitamin D3 absorption is doubled physiologically in pregnant women.
Reducing pelvic pain
Pelvic pain can be one of the biggest nightmares in the pregnancy. It is unavoidable but you can reduce the pain through some practices. You can practice yoga or pilates to reduce pain. Yoga helps boost the overall energy level, providing flexibility, and also strengthening the abdominal muscles. Wear comfortable clothes, supportive shoes, and avoid high heels.
Nasal congestion treatment
The pregnancy can leave you congested, sniffling, and sneezing, sometimes triggering your pelvic pain as well. You can try home remedies or consult the doctor. A saline spray helps to relieve a stuffy nose or using a humidifier at home.
Special considerations and complications
Genetic screening tests and their results
Genetic screening tests are usually prescribed by the doctor if the baby is at risk of having a specific genetic disorder. It is usually done for women above 35 years of age, women who have screened positive in a prenatal test or have a history of the chromosomal defect in their family.
This includes chorionic villus samplings and amniocentesis, which indicates the chance of any disorder. Learning about the results ahead of time helps to solve the complications or at least reduce the severity.
Visit the doctor
- You may have a second scan called fetal anomaly scan between week 18 or 21. This scan shows the growth and development of the baby. This is just like a normal sonography scan, but longer. The examiner looks carefully at the baby, to check for any organ or limb deformity. Knowing the sex of the baby prior to birth is Illegal in India
- If you have missed your prenatal visit last week, you are most likely to have one this one. Make sure you are prepared for it as the doctor measures your blood pressure, weight, and other tests. You might have to take a blood test to make sure that the baby doesn’t have any chance to get any chromosomal disease or abnormalities
Important checklist for week 17 pregnancy
- Get enough vitamin
- Continue the prenatal supplements
- Take necessary decisions and plan ahead of time
- Schedule your next tests
- Maintain your pregnancy journal
The baby is growing longer and stronger every day and the development of the baby is escalating. The systems in the baby are getting complex and so are your symptoms. If you don’t feel the baby moving inside, don’t worry. You will soon start feeling the movement within a week. You can also peak into your pregnancy belly to catch a glimpse of your going-to-be newborn!
- Healthline.com:Pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms, Overview, & Health Tips You Should Know
- Medicineplus.gov: Pregnancy | Pregnant | Prenatal Care | MedlinePlus
- Womenshealth.gov: Stages of pregnancy
I am co-founder of toddlerjunction.com and also currently working in corona ward of a hospital owned by Govenment of India in the state of MP, India.I am also a certified nurse in General Nursing – midwife I am passionate about writing and try to write as and when I can.