17 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body, Baby, and Vital Tips

Manveen Sibia
Manveen had an illustrious career in journalism and writing. She is the mother of a super active 7-year-old. While chasing her around the house, she also finds time to pursue her passion for writing on parenting, education, health, fitness, and entertainment.

You’re in the 17th week of your pregnancy. Your body is changing, and you may be feeling symptoms like headaches, pelvic pain, and swollen feet. You may also be feeling anxious about the future. It’s natural to have many questions. Read on to learn what’s happening inside your body, how your baby is developing, and get tips on what to do during the seventeenth week of your pregnancy.

Pregnancy week 17

By the 17th week of pregnancy, your womb will move up and out of your pelvis. As your bump becomes more noticeable, be ready for knowing smiles and lots of advice from well-wishers. You may also notice that pregnancy glow, thanks to the pregnancy hormones.

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Now that you’re almost halfway through your pregnancy, you may also be feeling a bit anxious. Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor or midwife if you are feeling anxious or depressed. Mental wellbeing is as important as your physical health during pregnancy.

Symptoms when you are 17 weeks pregnant

1. Rapid weight gain

Your appetite increases when you are in the second trimester. Your baby is growing rapidly and is demanding more nourishment. You may have already gained around five to six pounds. It is normal to gain around one pound per week during the second trimester. A sudden increase in weight during pregnancy can be a sign of a problem.

2. Increased bodily fluids

The increase in blood flow causes an increase in all bodily fluids like sweat, mucus, and vaginal discharge.

3. Stretch marks

Stretch marks are inevitable as your uterus grows and you gain weight. Gaining weight at a steady rate instead of spurts will make them less extreme. You must stay hydrated and moisturize your skin.

4. Indigestion and heartburn

Heartburn and indigestion are common symptoms of pregnancy. Eat small meals and avoid lying down after meals to keep gastric juices in the stomach. Your doctor may also give you antacids that are safe for the baby.

5. Skin pigmentation

You may notice growing brown or black spots on your face. This condition, which is known as melasma, affects 70 percent of pregnant women. The best way to prevent melasma is to protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen or wide-brimmed hats when going out in the sun.

6. Sciatic nerve pain

If you have intermittent sharp pains shooting down one of your legs, you are experiencing sciatic nerve pain. This pain occurs when the growing uterus puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Try lying on the side that is not painful until the pain subsides.

7. Weird dreams

You may also experience some odd dreams when you are pregnant. Anxiety, nerves, and pregnancy hormones are responsible for these dreams.

8. Headaches

Headaches are a result of hormones, fatigue, and tensions. Take a break and relax. You can also ask your doctor for a prescription that is safe during pregnancy.

9. Backaches

Backaches are common during pregnancy. Make sure you have a comfortable chair and a firm mattress.

10. Snoring

Pregnancy hormones can cause stuffiness in the nose, which can make you snore at night. Sleep with your head elevated, use a humidifier, or use nasal strips to keep your nasal passages open.

Your body at week 17 of pregnancy

Your baby is getting bigger, and you are gaining between one to two pounds of weight every week. Your uterus is now halfway between your pubic bone and your belly button. As your uterus grows, it nudges your intestines up and towards the side. You may also develop a dark line down the middle of your stomach. This line is known as linea nigra and is caused by the accumulation of pigmentation in your skin, where your stomach muscles are being stretched (1).

You may also notice more growth and changes in your breasts. The nipples and the skin surrounding it becomes darker, and you may even see dark veins appearing on your breasts. More blood is flowing into your breasts in preparation for milk production. Many women will feel the first signs of their baby’s movements during this week.

Your baby at week 17 of pregnancy

Your baby is 5.75 inches long and weighs 4 to 5 ounces. This week your baby will develop a layer of fat under the skin. This fat provides energy and keeps the baby warm after birth (2).

  • Your baby’s eyelashes and eyebrows are beginning to grow.
  • His eyes can move now, even though the eyelids are still shut.
  • His mouth can open and close. He is practicing sucking and swallowing.
  • Your baby can now hear loud noises from the outside world.
  • Your baby’s skeleton, which was soft cartilage earlier, is now turning into solid bone.
  • The pads of the fingertips and toes of your baby have developed fingerprints.

Tips to be followed when you are 17 weeks pregnant

1. Eat a healthy diet

Continue to eat healthy meals and avoid junk food. Many women are concerned that they are not eating enough. Do not worry; you only need to eat 300 to 400 calories extra per day during the second trimester of your pregnancy.  Eat food rich in vitamin D, or take a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D helps to strengthen the bones of the baby.

2. Exercise

Maintain good exercise habits. Swimming, cycling, and walking are some excellent options. Staying fit helps you to prepare for labor, and it also helps you to recover faster after delivery.

3. Prenatal massage

Treat yourself to a prenatal massage. You may be suffering from many aches and pains due to the changes in your body. A prenatal massage will help to relax you and ease your aches and pains.

4. Visit your optometrist

If you wear eyeglasses, you should visit your optometrist. Changes to the eyes are common during pregnancy, and you may discover that you need a new lens prescription. These issues often resolve when your baby is born.

5. Don’t get up too quickly

If you have been lying down or sitting for a while, do not get up too fast. There is an automatic drop in blood pressure when we lie down and rest. Standing up too quickly can lead to fainting. Move a standing position slowly.

6. Inform your employer

You must inform your employer about your pregnancy now. Doing this will help you to plan your maternity leave and attend antenatal appointments.

Your pregnancy 17th week doctor’s visit

This is your second prenatal visit. The visit begins with your doctor taking your weight and blood pressure to ensure that all is progressing well. Your healthcare provider will also have you leave your urine sample to test for levels of protein and sugar.

Your doctor will also measure the height of your uterus to determine how well your baby is growing. He will also listen to your baby’s heartbeat with a fetal Doppler. If you did not undergo any screening during your last appointment, he might recommend that you take a test to screen for chromosomal disorders or other developmental abnormalities.

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Tips for the partner

The relationship that a pregnant woman has with her partner is significant. A healthy relationship with your partner can help ease her anxiety. Talk to your partner about birth and find out about her wishes. Support her choices.

Final thoughts

This week your baby will develop a layer of fat under his skin. His eyes can move now, and he can hear loud noises from the outside world. Your uterus is growing and nudging the intestines up and towards the side. Continue to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to stay fit. Get a prenatal massage to ease your aches and pains and lower your anxiety.

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