Abbey holding a chalkboard that says, "week 17"

You’re 17 Weeks Pregnant: What You Need to Know

You’ve made it through 16 weeks of pregnancy, and you’re now starting week #17. By the end of this week, you’ll officially be three months pregnant! Let’s see what’s in store for you:

How Big Is My Baby?

By the 17th week, your baby will be about 4.7 to 5.1 inches long. For comparison, that’s about the size of a pomegranate. Imagine having your baby fit in the palm of your hands. Also, if everything’s going right, they’ll weigh about 4.9 ounces at this point.

A hand holding a pomegranate
Your baby's grown this week to about the size of a pomegranate!

My Baby’s Development

This week, your baby would have developed quite a lot compared to the previous weeks. For one, the size of their body and limbs would have caught up to their head. That means they’ll be more proportionate by now. Another fantastic development is your baby now has a unique fingerprint. Lastly, you can start imagining wide eyes batting at you because week 17 is when the eyelashes and eyebrows are midway in their development.

And of course, your baby continues to develop in general. Their bones continue to harden and strengthen, and their eyes will begin to move under those eyelids. Additionally, the placenta continues to grow to almost the same size as the bun in your oven.

What Is My Baby Doing?

What does a baby do by week 17? Well, they’re mostly using up the time to practice suckling for milk. This week, they’ll be practising how to suck as well as to swallow. In a few months, they’ll be prepared for the real thing.

By this week, they’ll also be able to hear your voice. This means your baby could be tuning in to your sweet lullabies for bedtime.

Belly Ultrasound

It’s not common for moms to get an ultrasound during the 17th week – at least unless they choose to have a cordocentesis. This is an optional procedure where your doctor checks blood from the umbilical cord and tests it for any chromosomal abnormalities. They’ll first perform an ultrasound to locate the area where the umbilical cord connects to the placenta. It is where they will draw the blood for the tests.

If you do choose to get an ultrasound anyway, you’ll be able to see your baby more clearly than before. You can even look at their hands as if they’re reaching out excitedly to you.

My Changing Body - Week 17

If you haven’t gotten maternity clothes yet, now’s the time to get them. Your bump will be more rounded and noticeable by this week. It may not just be because of the baby. This might be because of a growing appetite as well as food cravings.

Also, prepare yourself for the badge of pregnancy: stretch marks. Alas, these are things that you cannot avoid if it’s in your genetics. But no need to sweat, be proud of them and embrace your stretch marks as they signal your upcoming motherhood.

Your baby bump may also cause you some muscle and back pain. To combat this, make sure that your chair has good back support. You can even throw in a cushion for additional comfort.

Common Symptoms

While some symptoms may not be new to you this week, they may become more intense. Let’s take a look at some things you might experience by week 17:

  • Heartburn - Your gastric juices may play nice this week. You might experience heartburn and indigestion during this time. To avoid this, avoid lying down immediately after a big meal. Give your stomach time to digest well enough and keep those juices where they should be.
  • Odd Dreams - Doctors and scientists aren’t sure what causes this symptom, but 17 weeks pregnant women tend to get a lot of weird dreams during this period. Some dream about giving birth to animals while others dream that their partner leaves them. Don’t worry about these. Remember these are just dreams and not premonitions.
  • Rapid Weight Gain - If you’ve put on a couple more pounds than usual, you don’t have to worry. It’s normal for the rate of your weight gain to be slightly faster. After all, you’re now in your second trimester.

How Is My Life Changing?

During this time of your pregnancy, you realize that you’re not just thinking about yourself anymore. For your diet choices, you also have to consider your baby’s nutrition and health.

Even your clothing choices will be different — no more high heels for you. You’ll also have to be more thoughtful of the things you put on your face – that means skincare products and makeup. You’re also going to see yourself becoming more cautious when you go out. Make sure always to buckle up when you’re in the car.
With all your life choices from now on, you’re going to have your baby on your mind as well.

Week 17 Mommy Checklist

Here are some things you’ll want to work on during your 17th week of pregnancy:

  • Decide whether or not you want to know your baby’s sex before giving birth.
  • Start planning your maternity leave and make sure you inform your employer about your plans.
  • Look into and sign up for childbirth education classes. Later, you’ll be thankful that you did.
  • Consider getting a humidifier to combat the congestion you might experience during the following weeks.

Tips For The Partners

Pregnancy isn’t just difficult for the moms; they can also be tough on the partners. If you’re unsure how to support your expecting wife or girlfriend, here are some things you can do this week:

  • Help them look for a childbirth education class. They’ll be able to see how supportive you are when you’re actively involved.
  • Find out what benefits you have during your paternity leave. How many weeks will you have off?
  • Start to plan out work arrangements after your partner gives birth. Will you be taking on extra hours or an extra job?

A Sneak Peek Into Your Week 18

As you go through week 17, you might already be excited to see what’s in the following week. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come:

  • You’re officially four months pregnant by the start of week 18.
  • The odd dreams will start to lessen.
  • You’ll likely be able to feel some movement from your baby. Who knows, you might even feel your first kick.
  • It’s the moment many moms wait for: your next ultrasound can show you your baby’s sex!

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