17 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect


The 17th week of pregnancy more than drives the point home that you are going to be a mommy and that you are way into your second trimester. As with the preceding weeks, your body will see changes as will your baby.

It is expected that your nausea and morning sickness must have gone down. You should also be feeling less tired. Your uterus that has already expanded will continue to do so and you will probably face conditions such as indigestion.

Your Baby’s Growth During Pregnancy – Week 17

This particular week, your yet to be born little one is developing swallowing and sucking skills in preparation for breastfeeding. Your baby’s body is also starting to form body fat and should mature by the time of delivery. On the other hand, your baby’s heartbeat is no longer scattered and can now beat up to 150 beats, controlled by the baby’s brain.

Another big development for your kid at the 17th week is the formation of fingerprints. By the end of the 17th week, your baby may also be covered in vernix, which is a white substance that forms a coating on the baby’s skin.

What is the Baby’s Size?

Well, your little one is basically the size of a turnip now. To elaborate more, at 17 weeks pregnant the baby size should be around 150-175 grams and around 5-6 inches long. In fact, your baby is growing rapidly from last week and will continue to grow rapidly in the coming weeks. For now, your baby may just as well fit into your hand.

You would also be happy to know that your baby’s skeleton is slowly transforming into solid bone from the soft cartilage structure that has formed so far. . Your baby has developed some body fat making it ready for changes as well.

Common Body Changes

Along with your baby’s body transformation this week, you are bound to see some more body changes during pregnancy in yourself in the 17th week. For starters, you should be feeling better in terms of morning sickness and nausea. Also, your body should feel less tired.

More importantly, you should have your bump in place. However, the size of the bump is different for different women. Another new development in the 17th week of pregnancy is that you will be able to feel some movement inside your tummy but it will barely make any ripples. This, of course, will change in the coming months.

Symptoms of Pregnancy at Week 17

If you have been wondering what sets the 17th week of pregnancy different from the preceding weeks, here is your one-stop guide to find out the same.

  • Your body is trying hard to make space for your baby which is you may need to be prepared to feel somewhat uncomfortable as you face indigestion and heartburn.
  • Constipation and gas problems will also see a rise during your 17th week of pregnancy
  • Expect mood swings as your hormones go haywire
  • Changes in hormonal levels can cause pigmentation of the skin and this will start happening in the 17th week of pregnancy
  • Expect some nerve pain especially in your legs as your baby is getting heavier inside of you

 Belly at 17 Weeks of Pregnancy

As is expected, your belly should definitely be showing that you are pregnant. More importantly, some stretch marks and veins around your belly should start showing as well.

Most women now begin to gain some weight seeing that the baby has grown quite a bit. This weight gain may also be attributed to the fact that most women get their appetite back as morning sickness recedes.

17 Weeks Ultrasound

For most of you, the doctor may not schedule an ultrasound, as not much has changed. In special cases though, you might be asked to go for a scan, but it should not worry you too much.

You can continue to see that your baby’s heartbeat has settled in a steady pace and has and the facial features should start showing definition as well. More importantly, your baby’s immune system is in place and is protecting your baby from any diseases. Also, your baby can now feel sharp noises and harsh lights. Hormones will also have started to function in the form of adrenal glands. Best of all, your baby can feel your emotions and can recognize voices.

 What to Eat

By now you would have already started eating more calories as compared to your pre-pregnancy diet. Keeping in mind your earlier diet, add essential 17th week pregnancy foods by consulting the list below. Remember that starving yourself at this point of your pregnancy is unacceptable. Also, you don’t have to overeat or eat for two – just maintain a slight increase in the number of calories you normally would consume.

  • Load up on proteins in the form of lean meats, fishes, pulses, beans, and tofu. A bit of red meat is also advised to be added to your diet.
  • Eat lots of green leafy vegetables and whole fresh fruits to control blood pressure and reduce anaemia risks.
  • Stock up on calcium in the form of milk, yoghurt, cheese and other milk products to promote bone health
  • Add Folic Acid in your diet to prevent birth defects
  • Add Vitamin C as well in the form of either fruits or supplements. These help in tissue repair
  • Don’t forget to add Zinc to your diet and it promotes a healthy pregnancy
  • Stock up on nuts and low-fat snacks for your hunger urges
  • Divide your meals in order to not starve yourself

 Tips & Care

The most important thing at this stage of pregnancy should be to keep yourself strong and cheerful. Since the baby eats what you eat and feels what you feel, make healthy lifestyle choices that can successfully carry you through delivery. Below are some pointers that should come in handy to help you take care.

Do’s

  • Keep yourself safe
  • Keep your living conditions hygienic
  • Stay hydrated at all times
  • Eat at proper times with proper portions
  • Take medication if your doctor has prescribed any
  • Stay positive
  • Indulge in light exercise like some yoga and meditation
  • Maintain regular hours of sleep and get plenty of rest throughout the day
  • Maintain sanitation and personal hygiene

Don’ts

  • Starve yourself or your foetus
  • Expose yourself to areas with questionable hygiene conditions
  • Binge on junk food
  • Indulge in drinking and smoking
  • Ensure that you stay stress-free as far as possible
  • Overdo any workout

What You Need to Shop

Shopping for this stage of pregnancy should not be much of a problem. Remember that you have to keep comfort as a priority. Make sure you shop for some nice maternity wear in cotton. Don’t forget to buy some nice body pillows that will help in comforting you. Some comfortable shoes should come in handy motivational books will help you unwind and keep you cheerful. Don’t forget to add some nice healthy snacks in your kitchen because you might need them at any moment.

Don’t panic due to the constant changes and get well equipped to deal with the forthcoming changes for a safe and successful pregnancy.

Read this article in Arabic: الأسبوع 17 من الحمل