By the the time you are 17 weeks pregnant, there's no way to hide that you are expecting a baby.
It's time to show your growing bump with pride, so don't be shy if people stop you in the street to ask questions about your due date or the baby's sex. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, take it as an opportunity to brag a little about your pregnancy or get some help when needed: Yes, you can finally claim the special seats on the bus reserved for the elderly, women who are expecting and people with special needs (and, sometimes, usurped by rude ones!).
At week 17, pregnancy will start challenging you in a more physical way, due to the extra bit of fat that you are putting on (Don’t feel bad about it; you need these additional pounds!). Take a look at the following tips to learn everything you need to know about this stage.
17 weeks pregnant: Baby's turning on his ears!
The baby keeps taking steps forward as he reaches his 17th week of development. The little creature you are carrying is not only growing up quickly -he is about 5 inches long and weighs an average of 4 ounces- but he's also learning new skills that he'll need from the moment he makes his 'debut' in life. Currently, you may be noticing his 'knocking' kicks as he curls up and moves around the womb, being totally in his element. One of the biggest milestones when you are 17 weeks pregnant is that your future munchkin's ears have formed all the way, so he's ready to put his hearing sense at practice. So you know, start talking to him, because he may be listening to you!
Besides all this, as a 17 weeks pregnant woman, you should be expecting the baby to:
- Change his skeleton, replacing cartilage with bone
- Delegate the hearbeat functioning to the brain. The normal rhythm ranges from 140 up to 150 times per minute.
- Improve his swallowing and sucking
- Grow genuine fingerprints in both fingers and toes
- Move his eyes, which remain sealed, around a little bit
17 weeks pregnant: Time to be gluttonous!
If you find food delightful and eating stands out as one of your favourite 'activities' in life, consider yourself lucky. The first trimester of pregnancy may have ruined your appetite for some of your favourite dishes, since food aversions and morning sickness were part of your routine. Fortunately, that nasty feeling is long gone by the time you’re 17 weeks pregnant, and it's time to enjoy every meal as if it was the last one. But even a pregnant woman has limits when it comes to devouring all sorts of delicious food.
Being 17 weeks pregnant, your appetite increases because your little baby is getting bigger, and you need to make up for the nutrients that he absorbs. Just remember that eating more and putting on weight is part of the process, but don't eat just for the sake of it. Some pregnant women lose control and end up regretting their choices, especially about the 'menu' they decide on. Treating yourself once in a while with tasty items (ice cream, don't tempt me!) is fair, but don't forget to follow a healthy and varied diet that includes a balanced amount of protein, calcium, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
17 weeks pregnant: Other pregnancy symptoms
In addition to the increased appetite, week 17 pregnancy can bring along symptoms, such as:
- Feeling unsteady on your feet, caused by your belly growth
- Drier eyes
- Loud snoring, due to the stuffed up nose caused by the pregnancy hormones (Sorry, Dad!)
- Leukorrhea: a vaginal discharge made out of mucus that comes down in white or yellowish colour.
- Extra sensitive to allergens
17 week pregnant: Another chance for the quadruple blood-screening test
As explained in the 15 weeks pregnant article, from that week up to when you are 20 weeks pregnant, you will be offered to take the triple or quadruple blood screening test. If you missed the chance to get the combined test at 11 weeks pregnant and 14 weeks pregnant, don't hesitate on getting this one now. This is a safe way to find out whether your baby could have Down Syndrome or not. A lot of women get stressed about it, which is understandable, but try to keep calm. Down syndrome is a rare chromosomal disorder that, statistically, happens to just one out 700 new-borns. Chances vary depending especially on your age and family history.
At 17 weeks pregnant, you are feeling your baby both inside and outside of your body. You are building a bond between the two of you that will link you forever. Since the munchkin can now hear sounds, it would be a good idea to start talking to him. If you don't want to do it in front of others, try it in an intimate environment. This is good practice for what awaits you in just a few months!