17 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

17 Weeks Pregnant - Everything You Need To Know

You’re 17 weeks pregnant – almost halfway there!

Baby is growing and so is your belly.

By now, you are probably beginning to look and feel pregnant.

You might be excitedly sharing your news with everyone you meet!

Just remember everyone has an opinion on how you should look/feel during pregnancy.

And it’s absolutely ok not to conform with other people’s ideas about what you should or shouldn’t be doing.

This includes well meaning advice from family members, friends and the general public.

People are very quick to offer suggestions and judgement on your choices.

This ranges from your choice of how to give birth, baby names, and even when you go on maternity leave.

You might be surprised at how many people think it’s ok to comment on the size of your baby bump (too big/not big enough!).

And even more shocked at how people expect you to be public property when you’re pregnant.

If you’re not ok about being touched, it’s perfectly ok to say so.

Around 17 weeks of pregnancy you might find your centre of gravity is changing.

It’s a good idea to start being mindful of your posture, especially when standing and sitting.

This will minimise backache and muscle strain.

If your day job involves being on your feet or lifting heavy objects, be mindful of how this will impact you.

Speak to your employer about having regular breaks and always remember to bend your knees before lifting anything.

17 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

Regular exercise during pregnancy can help your body adjust to the extra weight of your growing baby.

And it’s never too late to see a therapist who understands the impact pregnancy has on your posture.

An osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor may be able to help you.

A common problem women experience during pregnancy is pain from nerves being compressed.

As your baby grows and the uterus expands, extra pressure is put on surrounding nerves.

One nerve in particular can cause a lot of pain and distress.

This is the sciatic nerve, which runs from your spine down your buttocks and each leg.

If the weight of your uterus and baby are pressing on this nerve it can cause sharp shooting pain in your buttocks of legs.

In some cases it can be ‘referred’ pain, which means it shows up in your toes and can be like pins and needles.

Regardless, it can be quite debilitating, interfering with your ability to walk, sit or go about your day.

The best way to avoid nerve compression is to keep your body fit and supple.

You can do this by taking up pregnancy yoga or doing stretching exercises every day.

Non-weight bearing exercise is also useful, such as swimming.

17 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body

At week 17 of pregnancy morning sickness should be a thing of the past.

Your skin is starting to stretch to accommodate your growing baby and may get itchy.

Especially around your breasts and abdomen.

Use a gentle moisturiser to help minimise the symptoms – coconut oil is wonderful and natural.

Unfortunately you can’t prevent stretch marks from happening. But you can reduce their severity.

Stay hydrated, eat foods high in vitamin C and avoid gaining weight too quickly.

Your skin undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy, such as darkening of the face or ‘the mask of pregnancy’.

Because of the increased blood flow, you may have noticed you are sweating more.

You may also notice you’re experiencing more vaginal discharge.

You are probably noticing you are hungrier during this time.

Your baby is starting to accelerate growth and this means demand on you is higher.

This doesn’t mean because you are growing a baby you can ‘eat for two’.

It’s still important to keep your weight gain slow and steady.

Stick to a balanced healthy diet and opt for nutrient dense foods that h

Don’t overeat for the sake of it or you could find your weight gain puts you into a high risk category.

Preparing For Birth At 17 Weeks Pregnant

It might feel early days to start thinking about childbirth classes.

But in fact this is a great time to research your options.

This gives you time to decide what best suits your needs and make sure you complete the class before baby arrives.

Many hospitals offer birth education classes.

However it’s a good idea to also look into independent birth courses.

These have no affiliation with hospitals and generally give a lot of information about natural birth.

Independent birth educators include information for your partner too.

This is really important so your partner can be a positive and effective support person.

You might like to read 9 Ways Independent Birth Classes Can Help You Get Better Results for more information about how birth classes outside of hospitals can be a really great investment in your birth.

17 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby

So what is your baby up to at 17 weeks pregnant?

At this point, your baby’s physical structure is pretty much complete.

The bones have been soft like cartilage up to this point, but they are now beginning to harden.

From now your baby will continue to grow and develop.

This means adding on brown fat.

This body fat helps your baby to stay warm after birth.

Your eyes have moved from the side to the front of the head.

Even though your baby’s eyes are still firmly shut, they can move under the eyelids.

And if you could see inside, you’d see tiny eyebrows and eyelashes have formed.

The umbilical cord is getting stronger and thicker.

If you’re 17 weeks pregnant, you’re almost certainly feeling your baby move.

Those movements will get more pronounced as your baby gets bigger and has less room to move in.

You may start to notice things that increase baby movements, such as when you lie down, or when you eat.

If the placenta is at the front (anterior) it may be a few more weeks before you can reliably feel movements.

Your care provider will begin listening to your baby’s heartbeat at every appointment now. You’ll gain great comfort from hearing that little heart beating when you visit.

Your baby at 17 weeks weighs about 167 grams and is about 13 cm long, around the size of an onion.

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Last Updated: November 15, 2018

CONTRIBUTOR

Sam McCulloch enjoyed talking so much about birth she decided to become a birth educator and doula, supporting parents in making informed choices about their birth experience. In her spare time she writes novels. She is mother to three beautiful little humans.


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