17 Weeks Pregnant:Getting Bigger and Heavier
At 17 weeks pregnant, your baby is now about the size of a turnip which is 5 inches long and weighs 5 ounces. If you put your little one in your palm, he will surely fit in! He is now also growing so fast and continues gaining weight while you’re 17 weeks pregnant.
Your Baby’s Development this Week
Changes inside his body
Time is so fast, as well as your baby’s growing developments! His body is now starting to build up body fats that will continue until you deliver him. These fats are called Brown Fat known as a special type of fat which serves as body heat generation.
As he gains weight when you’re 17 weeks pregnant, he is now heavier than your placenta due to the fats accumulating two-thirds of his body weight.
His brain can now regulate his small heart making the regular beats, beating 140 to 150 beats per minute (twice as fast as your heartbeat). While his movement and reflexes are developing such as sucking his thumb and swallowing, your baby is practicing just to impress you! Once your baby masters these skills, he is now ready for lactation.
The umbilical cord, to where he receives most of his food nourishments, is growing stronger and becoming thicker.
Changes outside his body
Most of the survival reflexes your baby will have at birth are being practiced inside your womb right now! When you look closely to your baby’s fingerprint (if you could), his fingerprints on his fingertips are starting to form. This swirl prints will be completed the next week. His skeletal structure is also starting to change as his soft cartilage is now turning to hard bones.
He can move his joints while his sweat glands are beginning to develop. Hairs on his eyebrows and eyelashes are now growing, while his eyelids are still fused shut (until 26 weeks). However, your baby already can move his eyes around. The down layer of hairs called lanugo is now covering your baby’s thin skin.
Your baby’s ears, which have now finally settled on the sides of his head, are already functioning so if they hear loud noises they will be startled. The tiny bones in his ears are completely formed now. Looking at the head of your baby this week, it is not that big anymore compared from the past few weeks that it has been the largest body part of your baby.
His arms and legs are growing and lengthening, and now your baby is becoming more proportionate. More developments on his skin are the Adipose tissue beginning to form, which will serve as the regulator of the body temperature, and vernix, which is a protective cover. While on his spinal cord, myelin, a protective substance, is starting to envelope the said part.
Movements are also done by your baby inside and you will feel it now. Some mothers described it as bubbles in their tummy or like a butterfly fluttering around. But you will soon notice that he is actually kicking.
About Your Body Changes at 17 Weeks Pregnant
Your belly is getting showy! Now that your baby is getting bigger and your uterus continues to expand, you’re beginning to feel like you are unsteady while standing. This is because there is a change on your center of gravity while your womb is growing bigger. You may be feeling a bit livelier and less tired at this point as most early pregnancy symptoms are gone now.
However, there are still some pregnancy changes you will notice including slight vaginal discharge or also known as leukorrhea, becoming more sensitive to allergens and nasal congestion. This is normal and goes away after childbirth.
Craving much food and getting hungrier – you will also feel that. Second semester is thought to be a break from the intense pregnancy discomforts such as morning sickness though. But at 17 weeks, it is also the time when most women’s stomachs can’t get enough of food.
Your breasts are getting bigger as well and becoming more sensitive, your body is preparing for lactation.
The placenta at this point is a functional network of blood as well as tissue that works to distribute nutrients and rid of waste.
As your belly grows, your insides are also moving around giving more rooms to your uterus and your little tenant. The intestines are being moved up and towards the sides of the abdomen. Because of this, you will be able to feel the uterus more especially when you stand. Pain can also be felt in your leg area which is commonly referred to be sciatic nerve pain, which can some women experience intensely. The sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in the body that goes under the uterus and through the whole length of the leg.
The nerve is being pressed by your growing uterus which results to intense pain. However, you can also prevent that by not standing for a long period of time. Consult your health care provider for some relief if you experience this.
What to Think and Do this Week
There are so many to think about and to do when you’re pregnant. However for this week, rest and getting enough sleep is the most important. Sleep as much as you can while the pregnancy discomforts that you feel are at ease.
As your pregnancy progresses in the coming weeks, you may not get enough sleep from being feeling restless from pregnancy discomforts such as morning sickness (again) and even scary nightmares. There are those who may see rashes on their body and some may develop allergies. Consult your trusted healthcare provider for relief solution.
Eat mini meals! According to experts, you should eat six small meals throughout the day than eating three large meals as this will help you ease your indigestion. The indigestion is the effect of pregnancy hormones to your digestion process. You will also prevent nausea.
You may sometimes feel that anxiety is building up and can’t help but worry about anything. Because of that, you ended up becoming more stressed. Always turn to your partner, your friends and family if you are experiencing these. You can also participate to mothers-to-be while you are 17 weeks pregnant to receive support and advice.