You’re 17 weeks pregnant – almost halfway there!
Your 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 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 the end of 4 months pregnant.
You’ve plenty of time left to enjoy the second trimester.
17 weeks pregnant
Just remember, everyone has an opinion on how you should look and feel during pregnancy.
And it’s absolutely ok not to conform to other people’s ideas about what you should or shouldn’t be doing.
This includes how you deal with well-meaning advice from family members, friends, and the general public.
People are very quick to offer suggestions and judgments on your choices.
You can expect comments on everything – your choice of how to give birth, your choice of 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.
17 weeks pregnant belly
At 17 weeks of pregnancy, you might find your center of gravity is shifting. 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.
It’s a good idea to be more mindful of your back – especially when you’re standing and sitting.
This will minimize 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.
Tight pants at 17 weeks pregnant?
Ok, maybe you don’t have a big enough belly to go to full maternity clothes yet, but those pants are definitely getting tighter!
Leggings are always popular as they are spacious and don’t restrict your tummy. Baby doll dresses that flow out from under the breast are very comfortable as well.
You will definitely have to start thinking about your wardrobe now that your pants are feeling tight and might not fit you around the belly for much longer.
17 weeks pregnant ultrasound
You might have already had a dating scan, at around 8 to 12 weeks, and completed the nuchal scan for chromosomal abnormalities like Downs Syndrome at the same time.
If you have any family history of genetic disorders, you might want to look into more in-depth scans and blood tests, if you haven’t already done this.
The general scan that looks at growth and fetal abnormality is done from 18 to 22 weeks of pregnancy. Speak to your care provider if you need help deciding whether or not this ultrasound is right for you.
17 weeks of pregnancy symptoms
At week 17 of pregnancy, morning sickness should be a thing of the past. Thank goodness!
Because of the increased blood flow, you might notice you’re sweating a lot more.
It’s also normal for pregnant women to have an increase in breast size. You could go up one or even two cup sizes. This is because your breasts are already preparing for milk production when your baby arrives.
You can have a professional bra fitting to make sure you’re wearing the most comfortable bra size.
You could also experience more vaginal discharge and this discharge is normal for most pregnant women.
Here are some of the most common symptoms at 17 weeks of pregnancy:
- Increased bodily fluids. Increased blood flow results in vaginal discharge, sweat, mucus, and other fluids going in full force
- Heartburn and indigestion. You might be experiencing heartburn and indigestion, two symptoms that will also occur later in pregnancy. Try to eat multiple small meals during the day, and avoid spicy foods or other foods that make you feel nauseous. It’s also beneficial to eat slowly and not to lie down immediately afterwards
- Itchy or sensitive skin. Your skin stretches, and becomes thinner and more irritated, as your baby grows. Instead of scratching to relieve the itching, find a calming skin cream to use instead
- Lower back pain. Your uterus is expanding and shifting your center of gravity and posture, putting more strain on your back. Lower back pain can occur when you gain weight during pregnancy, but exercise and stretching might help alleviate some of the discomforts. A heating pad applied to the affected area can also provide some relief. Try not to stand for long periods.
- Unusual dreams. These dreams could be due to your hormones, but they could also be the result of your nerves and excitement. Try some yoga or meditation before bed, to calm your busy mind.
- Leg cramps. They can keep you awake at night during the second trimester. You should try stretching your legs before bed or massaging your calf muscles if cramping occurs. Wearing stylish, supportive shoes, and staying hydrated and physically active, will also help.
Stretch marks at 17 weeks pregnant
At week 17, your skin is starting to stretch to accommodate your growing baby. This means it will start to get itchy – especially around the belly and breast area.
Use a gentle moisturizer, which may help minimize the symptoms. Coconut oil is wonderful – and it’s natural. Avoid heavily scented skin cream, not great for skin and the smell can often instigate nausea in pregnancy.
Unfortunately, you can’t prevent stretch marks from happening on your stomach, but you can reduce their severity.
Stay hydrated, eat foods high in vitamin C, and avoid gaining weight too quickly.
How much weight should you put on by 17 weeks pregnant?
By now, you could have gained 5 to 10 pounds.
In the second trimester, it’s natural to gain 1 to 2 pounds per week. You’re probably feeling a lot hungrier, as your baby’s growth starts to accelerate. 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.
Be sure to read Pregnancy Weight Gain – How Much Weight Is Normal? for more information.
Don’t overeat for the sake of it, or you could find your weight gain puts you into a high-risk category. You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes, which can affect your plans for a normal birth.
If your weight gain is happening faster than it should, speak to your doctor or midwife and ask for support and advice.
17 week pregnant pains
The most common pain women experience at this stage of pregnancy is round ligament pain. This is usually felt in the pelvis and lower part of your belly, as your uterus expands and puts pressure on your ligaments.
As your pregnancy progresses, you might also experience pain from nerves being compressed (sciatica) and pelvic girdle pain.
It’s never too late to see a therapist who can advise you about your posture and adjustments to support your body.
An osteopath, physiotherapist, or chiropractor practitioner who specializes in pregnancy care will be able to help you with this.
Exercise at 17 weeks pregnant
Regular exercise can alleviate some of the discomfort of aches and pains.
If the weight of your uterus and your baby is putting pressure on the sciatic 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. If this is the first time you have tried exercising, be sure to take it easy.
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 the 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.
Contact your midwife or healthcare provider for more information on classes.
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
Consider whether you want to participate in any of the genetic or screening tests that might be given to you.
Make a checklist of questions you have about them and seek expert advice on the risks and benefits of each from your healthcare provider.
These are some of the things to consider putting on your checklist of questions to ask:
- Is there a genetic test that is recommended for my specific situation?
- Should I have a screening test for maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP)?
- Is it necessary to have an amniocentesis? This is a voluntary test, and whether or not you have amnio is a personal decision.
- Is dizziness a common occurrence?
- Is it safe to get a massage from a professional?
What is my baby doing at 17 weeks in the womb?
So what is your baby up to this pregnancy week?
At 17 weeks of pregnancy, and from now on, your baby’s development will accelerate.
That means putting on brown fat. This body fat helps your baby to stay warm after birth.
Your healthcare provider, ob-gyn, or doctor 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.
At this point, your baby’s physical structure is pretty much complete.
Sweat glands are beginning to form.
The bones have been soft up to this point, much like cartilage. From now, your baby’s bones are beginning to harden.
Your baby is becoming more involved inside the amniotic sac at this stage. You might not be able to feel all of this movement right now, but in the coming weeks, you’ll most certainly experience these little flips and rolls.
What does my baby look like at 17 weeks in the womb?
Your baby this pregnancy week has tiny eyebrows and eyelashes.
Your baby’s eyes have now moved from the side to the front of the head. Even though they are still firmly shut, your little one can move his eyes under the eyelids.
The umbilical cord is getting stronger and thicker as your baby is getting bigger.
The placenta is also expanding in order to help your developing baby get enough nutrients and oxygen, while also eliminating waste.
Your baby’s oil glands might begin to produce vernix – a white, greasy film that protects and covers the skin while also helping to regulate body temperature.
Your baby’s toenails are rising this week. Nails will most likely reach the tips of the toes and fingers by the end of this month.
Can I feel my baby at 17 weeks?
Your baby at 17 weeks is moving and you might start to feel some fluttering movements. Some refer to this fluttering as the ‘quickening’.
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’s 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 early in the second trimester.
Those feelings are amazing, but don’t worry if you haven’t experienced them yet (especially if this is your first pregnancy).
Although every woman is different, the first movements of the baby are usually felt between 16 and 22 weeks.
How much does my baby weigh at 17 weeks of pregnancy?
At 17 weeks pregnant, your fetus weighs about 167 grams (5.8 ounces) and is about 13 cm (5.1 inches) long – around the size of an onion or a pomegranate.