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.

17 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

Just remember, everyone has an opinion on how you should look and 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 judgements on your choices.

You can expect comments on anything – from your choice of how to give birth to baby names, and even when you should 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 – and whether it’s too big, or not big enough.

And you’ll be shocked by the way 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.

At 17 weeks of pregnancy you might find your centre of gravity is shifting.

It’s a good idea to be more mindful of your posture – especially when you’re standing and sitting.

This will minimise backache and muscle strain.

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

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

17 Weeks Pregnant Belly

As your baby grows and your uterus expands, your body needs to change and adjust to the extra weight. 

You might notice your posture and movement are affected a lot more now your belly is really starting to show. 

Regular exercise can alleviate some of the aches and pains. 

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

An osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor might 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, there is extra pressure on the 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 into each leg.

If the weight of your uterus and your baby is putting pressure on this nerve it can cause sharp shooting pains in your buttocks or legs.

In some cases it might be ‘referred’ pain, which means you feel it in your toes; it 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, such as swimming, is also useful.

17 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms

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 might get itchy – especially around your breasts and abdomen.

Use a gentle moisturiser to help minimise the symptoms; coconut oil is wonderful – and it’s 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. One is the darkening of the face or ‘the mask of pregnancy’.

Because of the increased blood flow, you might notice you are sweating more.

You could also experience more vaginal discharge.

And during this time, you are probably feeling much hungrier than usual.

Your baby’s growth is starting to accelerate, and this means the demand on you is even greater.

It does not mean because you are growing a baby you can ‘eat for two’.

It’s still important to make sure your weight gain is slow and steady.

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

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 too early to start thinking about childbirth classes.

In fact, this is a great time to research all your options.

Starting now gives you time to decide what best suits your needs. And planning ahead will make sure you complete the classes before baby arrives.

Many hospitals offer birth education classes.

It’s also a good idea to look into independent birth courses. They 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.

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

17 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?

It can be confusing when someone asks you how many months pregnant you are. After all, we tend to talk about pregnancy in terms of weeks these days. 

Week 17 puts you at about 4 months pregnant. 

You’ve plenty of time left to enjoy the second trimester. 

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 now they are beginning to harden.

From now on, your baby will continue to grow and develop.

That means putting on brown fat. This body fat helps your baby to stay warm after birth.

If you’re 17 weeks pregnant, you might start feeling your baby move.

The movements will be more pronounced as your baby gets bigger and has less space to move around in.

You might start to notice things that increase baby movements – for example, when you lie down, or when you eat.

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

Your care provider will listen 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’s eyes have now moved from the side to the front of the head. Even though they are still firmly shut, they can move under the eyelids.

And your baby now has tiny eyebrows and eyelashes.

The umbilical cord is getting stronger and thicker.

At 17 weeks pregnant, your baby weighs about 167 grams and is about 13 cm long – around the size of an onion.

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Last Updated: February 5, 2019

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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