17 Weeks Pregnant

Learn what's happening in week 17 of pregnancy and find out how your baby is developing.

In week 17, your baby is really starting to move and its physical structure is pretty much complete. From this week, your baby will be continuing to grow and develop. His/her tiny bones are beginning to harden and your baby is still practicing sucking and swallowing. Your little one which is now the size of a turnip, is growing a stronger and thicker umbilical cord. Your belly is also growing, so you are probably really beginning to look pregnant.

What happens in your body in pregnancy week 17?

17 Weeks Pregnant

You're at week 17; that's almost halfway there, so you are probably feeling a little nervous. You may experience some new symptoms of pregnancy including vaginal discharge, weird dreams, and itchy belly and boobs. You might sweat a lot and notice an increase in the vaginal discharge and more mucus. These pregnancy symptoms at 17 weeks are simply a result of your increased blood flow.

You may also notice that your dreams have become more bizarre. The strange dreams you're experiencing may reflect your thoughts and feelings about pregnancy.

Changes in Your Body at 17 Weeks Pregnant

At this stage in pregnancy, you will start to put on some weight. This is perfectly normal and you shouldn't be concerned about it, unless your health care provider raises a concern. Your skin is starting to stretch a little and may get itchy, especially around your belly and breasts. You can use a moisturiser to minimise these symptoms. You may also notice stretch marks and darkening on your body. During pregnancy, you may find you develop brown patches on your face known as the "mask of pregnancy". Your palms may get red, which is due to dilated blood vessels. But, don't be concerned because all of these symptoms will disappear after your baby is born.

Your Baby at 17 Week of Pregnancy

At week 17, your baby's legs, arms and trunk have caught up to the size of his/her head. Your little one starts plumping up this week and sweat glands develop. The baby is developing a waxy coating on its skin (vernix) which protects its skin from damage. Your baby is about five inches long now (about the size of your palm) and the umbilical cord is getting stronger and thicker. Body fat is beginning to form and the placenta is now almost as big as your baby. The placenta provides vitamins, minerals, oxygen and proteins to your baby, along with removing waste and filtering carbon dioxide. Your baby is now able to listen to everything and is actually startled by loud noises.

Sex can now be easily determined with an ultrasound. At this stage, you can certainly feel your baby's movements, especially when you lie down or when you eat. Your doctor will also begin listening to his/her heartbeat at every appointment now and you'll feel happy every time you hear your baby's heartbeat.

Pregnancy Week 17 Tips

This week you will probably feel your baby move for the first time. You may find that your pants don't fit anymore or that your shoes are too tight.

You are now at that strange place where people who don't know about your pregnancy, aren't able to tell you are pregnant. Your weight gain at 17 weeks in pregnancy may be between nine to ten pounds. The recommended weight gain for the average sized woman is between 25 and 35 pounds.

Continue to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle as your pregnancy continues. Your baby will continue to develop and grow, so you will gain at least one or two pounds with each week that passes in the second trimester.