17 Weeks Pregnant - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips - Babylist

17 Weeks Pregnant

May 16, 2019

17 Weeks Pregnant

17 Weeks Pregnant
17 Weeks Pregnant

Here’s what to know when you’re 17 weeks pregnant:

Your Baby at 17 Weeks

As you approach the half-way mark, baby is working hard to grow and develop. They’re practicing important skills they’ll need for life outside the womb.

How Big is Baby at 17 Weeks?

Your baby is 5.1 inches long and weighs 4.49 ounces this week. That’s about the size of a casette tape. Put your hair in the air! If you’re wondering how baby compares to food, a turnip is the size of baby at 17 weeks.

Baby’s Development at 17 Weeks Pregnant

  • Bone development: The cartilage in your 17-week fetus’ limbs has turned almost completely to bone. Their bones will continue to harden and fuse into their early years of life.
  • Sweat glands: Is it hot in there? Baby is developing sweat glands. Babies don’t actually sweat, though, until after they are born—and it can take a few weeks for all of the glands to start working.
  • Sucking and swallowing: So how does your baby spend their days? They’re practicing sucking and swallowing in order to get ready for the world outside the womb, and those first attempts at getting milk from your breast or the bottle. Some babies even begin to suck their thumbs in the womb.
  • Umbilical cord: The umbilical cord on baby at 17 weeks is getting longer and thicker, so it’ll be strong enough to keep up with all the demands of the second half of pregnancy.

Umbilical Cord Basics

Think of the umbilical cord as a lifeline from mom to baby. It has a vein that carries blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to baby, and two arteries that send all the waste (like carbon dioxide) back to the placenta.

During the upcoming anatomy scan (more on that below), your doctor will check the umbilical cord to make sure it appears to be developing normally. The cord will grow to up to two feet long before your baby is born.

Unless your mid-pregnancy ultrasound will take place a little early, you probably won’t have a 17 week ultrasound. But if you do, here’s an idea of what baby might look like: 17 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

Photo by Tommy’s

17 Weeks Pregnant is How Many Months?

This week, you are three months and three weeks pregnant.

💛 Congratulations 💛

You have 23 weeks left of your pregnancy!

17 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

At 17 weeks pregnant, you’re in the sweet spot of your pregnancy. Your nausea has probably abated but you’re not too big and uncomfortable yet. So enjoy this time! Consider booking a fun get-away with your partner sometime soon.

  • Braxton Hicks contractions: Just like your baby at 17 weeks, your body is also practicing—for labor. So-called Braxton Hicks contractions are practice contractions you might experience as early as now. They feel like a tightening across your belly like you put on a snug, stiff dress, but on the inside. They are also really irregular. If you start to have regular Braxton Hicks at 17 weeks and they are getting more intense, call your doc.
  • Baby starts to kick: Between 17 weeks and 22 weeks, most pregnant women start feeling the baby kick! Baby’s movements feel kind of like gas or queasiness at first, but you will start to recognize it. It’s called quickening. For thousands of years, this fluttery sensation confirmed that a woman was really pregnant, and feeling baby’s movements for the first time was considered the second most significant event in a pregnancy behind only birth. Aristotle thought this was the moment the baby was first animated. He obviously didn’t know much, but it does feel so special. ✨
  • Increased melanin: Your body is producing extra melanin because of increased estrogen. That might lead to the mask of pregnancy on your face, or the line of pregnancy down your belly. It’s a thick dark line right down the center of your belly called “linea nigra.” That stands for “black line” if you need a Latin refresher. It will fade after birth.
  • Morning sickness: At 17 weeks pregnant, most women expect morning sickness to be a thing of the past. But sadly, the queasies can stick around longer for some. Morning sickness that continues into the second trimester is worth a mention to your doc. If it’s severe, it could hyperemesis gravidarum—basically morning sickness on steroids. With HG, you become at risk for dehydration and malnutrition, so it’s important to seek medical treatment.

Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Wondering about stretch marks? At 17 weeks pregnancy, you’re getting bigger quickly, no doubt, and as your skin stretches, you may earn some tiger stripes. Unfortunately, there’s really nothing you can do to prevent them completely—skin type, heredity and weight gain have more to do with stretch marks than any skin cream does. Still, it’s not a bad idea to stay hydrated and lotioned up.

The stretch marks may look dark now, but over time, they do fade. (We swear.)

Your 17 Weeks Pregnant Belly

At 17 weeks pregnant, it’s common to wonder whether or not your belly is normal. Well, what’s normal? Some women are 17 weeks pregnant and not showing—others have a cantaloupe on their hands. There’s such a wide range.

Body type and weight gain are big factors. Plus, women who’ve been pregnant before show earlier than first-time moms. And, obviously, if you’re 17 weeks pregnant with twins you’re going to look bigger than your friend with a solo babe.

Starting at 20 weeks, the top of the uterus will be about level with your belly button, and that’s when your doctor will start measuring to see how you and baby are growing (it’s called measuring fundal height, or the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus). As long as you’re both growing as expected, it’s all good, no matter what your pregnant belly looks like.

The Doctor Will See You Now

20 week ultrasound image

Between 16 and 20 weeks, gear up for a battery of tests.

First off, what’s the difference between a screening test and a diagnostic test? A screening tells you the risk factor of your baby having a condition, and a diagnostic test tells you whether they actually have it.

Screenings, like a nuchal translucency, pretty much test for signs of a problem, like an abnormal neck measurement or irregular level of hormones.

Diagnostic tests, like amniocentesis, CVS or cordocentesis, have clearer results. But diagnostic usually equals more invasive. In other words, they may have to take your blood, amniotic fluid or even blood from the umbilical cord for testing. Some diagnostic tests come with risks, so many parents-to-be opt not to do them unless a screening test suggests there could be an issue or there’s family history of a genetic condition.

The big three tests around this time are:

  • Quad screen: This measures the quantity of four substances in your blood to determine your baby’s risk of having a neural tube defect, Down syndrome or other genetic condition.
  • Genetic carrier screens: Turns out genes are crazy, and you can be a carrier for a disease you don’t have. In late February 2017, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists started recommending that all patients be offered some kind of carrier screen, but these guidelines have not been widely adopted. Many people do it as part of pre-pregnancy prep, but you can opt to do it now too.
  • Level 2 full-body anatomy scan: AKA gender ultrasound. It’s part of the second-trimester screens, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to look at your baby.

Find out more about what to expect with these mid-pregnancy tests.

Looking Ahead to Your Due Date

Wondering when you’ll give birth? You’ve probably already confirmed the date with your doc. But sometimes due dates actually change. According to OBs, pregnant women aren’t always 100% accurate when to comes to remembering the date of their last period, so doctors use other methods, including baby’s measurements. It’s not common for a due date to change in the second trimester, but every once in a while, it happens.

Fun Fact

Babies are born with 300 bones even though adults only have 206. How does this work?

17 Weeks Pregnant Baby Bumps

17 weeks pregnant belly @tiffe626

17 weeks pregnant pictures @abbeighblake

17 weeks pregnant bump @rubyvretchkoff

17 weeks pregnant size @mariposapixiegirl

17 weeks pregnant with twins @carrienichols

17 weeks pregnant belly pictures @laeti.and.the.city

baby bumps at 17 weeks pregnant @sleep eat love

17 weeks pregnant pictures @bjevans26

17 weeks pregnant belly size @littlemisscheff


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Week 17 Pregnancy Checklist

  • Schedule your 20-week ultrasound appointment. (And decide if you are going to find out gender!)
  • Finding your tribe as a new mom can be challenging but exhilarating. Check out local parent resource centers that host new moms groups or join a local Facebook group or two to connect with other moms who are going through the same things.
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