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17 WEEKS PREGNANT
Now that you’re 17 weeks pregnant, start making firm plans, like whether or not you’re going to find out baby’s gender (you should be able to soon!), and what kind of childbirth class you’d like to take.
As you start making these decisions, the pregnancy will feel even more real, which is super exciting, but part of you is probably feeling a little anxious too.
After all, you’re at week 17 of your pregnancy; that’s almost halfway through and there’s so much to do, it can be overwhelming.
Our best advice? Don’t try to do it all yourself—ask for help.
And whatever doesn’t get done? You’ll find it’s not that important anyhow.
How Big Is Baby at 17 Weeks?
A baby at pregnancy week 17 is the size of a pomegranate.
Your 17-week fetus is about 5.1 inches long and weighs about 5.9 ounces.
17 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
At 17 weeks pregnant, you’re three months and about three weeks pregnant.
By the end of the week, you’ll officially be four months pregnant. Woot!
17 WEEKS PREGNANT SYMPTOMS
When you’re 17 weeks pregnant, symptoms are most commonly due to your rapidly growing baby.
Here’s what you’re likely feeling this week:
Increased bodily fluids.
Vaginal discharge, sweat, mucus, and other fluids are in full force because of your increased blood flow.
You gave birth to a chipmunk? Married your boss? Having strange dreams might be caused by your hormones, but it might also be the result of your nerves and anticipation.
Itchy boobs and belly.
As baby’s growing, your skin is stretching thinner and can be more sensitive.
Resist the urge to scratch, and find a soothing skin cream that eases the itch.
(We like Belly All Day Moisture Body Lotion.)
More rapid weight gain.
You may have gained about 5 to 10 pounds by now.
It’s normal to gain about 1 to 2 pounds per week in the second trimester.
Sudden or excessive weight gain could be a sign of a problem though, so talk to your OB if it’s higher than that.
As you’re putting on some pounds and your uterus continues to expand—we hate to break it to you—getting some stretch marks might be inevitable.
(Especially if you’re 17 weeks pregnant with twins!) Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and use a good quality moisturizer to try to combat them.
17 WEEKS PREGNANT BELLY
Baby’s working on getting stronger, and your 17 weeks pregnant body’s working on getting bigger—about one to two pounds bigger per week.
(Weight gain should be about the same if you’re 17 weeks pregnant with twins.)
Make sure you document your growing 17 weeks pregnant belly by taking lots of photos.
We promise: one day you’re going to look back and reminisce about this time.
You’ll want to have a keepsake of how your body changed.
17 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
Baby’s rubbery cartilage is now turning to bone.
And baby’s growing some meat on those bones, putting on some fat.
Your 17-week fetus is growing a stronger, thicker umbilical cord too.
You may have a 17 weeks pregnant ultrasound if you’ve opted to have a cordocentesis.
In this procedure, umbilical cord blood is tested for signs of chromosomal abnormalities.
The doctor uses an ultrasound to find the place where the cord meets the placenta—that’s the spot where she needs to remove the blood. Typically, this diagnostic test is performed after 17 weeks;
it may be used if amniocentesis results were inconclusive and you and your partner want a more definitive answer about baby’s health
Your Baby at Week 17
Baby’s Practicing Sucking and Swallowing
My, how your baby has grown!
Your little one weighs about five or more ounces and is the size of your palm, or around five inches long.
Body fat (baby’s, that is) is beginning to form and will continue to accumulate through the end of your pregnancy (join the club, baby!).
Baby’s heart is now regulated by the brain (no more random beats) and is churning out 140 to 150 beats per minute — about twice as fast as yours.
And since practice makes perfect, your baby is sharpening his sucking and swallowing skills in preparation for that first (and second…and third) suckle at your breast or the bottle.
In fact, most of the survival reflexes your baby will have at birth are being perfected in utero right now.
17 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you’re 17 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 4 of your pregnancy.
Only 5 months left to go! Still have questions? Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
Fingerprints Are Forming
Here’s some proof that your baby is truly one of a kind (as if you needed any!).
Within the next week or so, the pads on your baby’s fingertips and toes will become adorned with completely individual swirls and creases, aka fingerprints.
Your Body at Week 17
Now that you’re starting to show, chances are that friends, coworkers and even strangers may feel the urge to reach out and touch your tummy.
If you don’t mind, that’s fine. But if you do, speak up kindly but firmly.
More new developments with your body: a slight vaginal discharge (leukorrhea) and a greater sensitivity to allergens these days — both are totally normal.
Your Growing Appetite
Remember when you were so queasy you could barely stomach ginger ale and a cracker?
Happily, your toilet-hugging days (and nights) are probably over.
And happily (and hungrily) these days it’s more likely that you can’t get enough to eat.
For most women, the second trimester not only brings relief from morning sickness but also a hearty appetite.
Don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel hungry enough to polish off a sizable cut of steak or a whole tray of baked ziti at 17 weeks pregnant.
What’s behind your increase in appetite? Simple — you’re taking signals from your baby, who’s getting bigger and hungrier.
Not sure exactly how much weight you should gain during pregnancy?
Talk to your practitioner, who will be able to help you maintain a healthy weight gain (he or she can also help you play weight gain catch-up if you didn’t gain enough or lost weight during the first trimester).
Then check out What to Expect’s guide to healthy eating during pregnancy — to make sure that both you and baby are getting the fuel you need to nourish your growing bodies.
One inexplicable pregnancy symptom? Snoring!
But take heart: The stuffiness that often triggers world-champion snoring is common — and temporary.
(That’s right, even your nose is affected by pregnancy hormones!) Try putting a humidifier in your bedroom, using one of those nasal strips on your nose to open up your nasal passages, or sleeping on a couple of pillows to keep your head slightly elevated.
(And if your partner complains? Banish him or her to the sofa for the night — it’s more important that you get a good night’s sleep.)