Now the size of a turnip, your baby at seventeen weeks is in the midst of critically important advancements taking place. Topping the list of important advancements is the maturation of your baby’s nervous system, with it now having acquired myelin. The presence of myelin will function to accelerate information from the nerves to the brain.
Concurrent to the production of myelin is the evolution of your baby’s hearing abilities. As their hearing increasingly becomes more evolved, your baby will be able to hear a variety of sounds and will particularly respond to music. If you play music, your baby may very well start dancing and bopping around in response to the new sounds he or she is experiencing.
At seventeen weeks into your pregnancy, it becomes times to start making an action plan that is inclusive of a variety of matters including, but not limited to, where you will give birth, if you would like to find out the gender of your baby, what types of child birth classes you would like to take, and who will comprise your support network as you recover from childbirth. Also of crucial importance is financial planning and making sure that you are able to sustain the costs involved with birth and beyond.
Read on below to learn more about the seventeenth week of pregnancy and all of its many fascinating aspects!
Table of Contents
Your Physical and Emotional Health
17 Weeks Pregnant
Seventeen weeks into your pregnancy is a relatively odd time in your term. More than likely you will have recently experienced a surge in energy and stamina and were able to make strides in implementing and practicing healthy eating and fitness measures.
However, your rapidly growing baby and the roiling hormones within your body can produce a wide range of bizarre symptoms around this time. Most commonly is a significant increase in bodily fluids, with vaginal discharge, mucus, and sweat making you feel like a stinky, leaky sub-human being.
Due mostly in part to significantly increased blood flow, the increase in bodily fluids is nothing to worry about (with the exception of odd colored or textured vaginal discharge) and are more of an annoyance and slight embarrassment than anything.
Freakish dreams may have you suddenly awakening at night, perplexed and disturbed. Resulting from a combination of hormones and nerves, bizarre dreams are par for the course in this stage of pregnancy.
Other Common Pregnancy Symptoms Around the Seventeen-Week Mark May Include:
|Itchy, scratchy skin: Particularly on the belly and breast areas, itchy skin is a result of the thinning of your skin due to stretching as your baby continues to grow within you. Do your best to resist the frustrating urges to itch and scratch – doing so will irritate your skin immensely and worsen the situation. Instead invest in a mild, calming, and soothing skin cream specially formulated for pregnant women. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe an anti-itch cream to bring you instant relief.|
|Linea nigra: A dark line that runs its course through the center of your belly, it is an entirely harmless side effect of pregnancy caused by hyperpigmentation in your skin where the stomach muscles are being stretched and contorted. Fear not! Linea nigra will fade in time after you give birth.|
|Pigmentation issues: Over the last few weeks in your pregnancy, you probably noticed your nipples and areola becoming much darker in color. Resulting from an elevated blood supply within your breasts, it’s a harmless side effect.
For many women, the darkening of their nipples and areola may remain a bit darker in color even after they give birth.
|Dark patches: Dark and dry patches of skin may begin to appear on your face, hands, or neck. Due to an immense rise in estrogen resulting in the production and stimulation of excessive levels of melanin, hyperpigmentation in the form of dark patches occur. Temporary in nature, the dark patches will typically disappear after you give birth or for some women after they finish breastfeeding their baby.|
|Ongoing rapid weight gain: Expect to have gained up to ten pounds by now and one to two pounds per week in the second-trimester phase.|
Your Baby’s Health and Status
17 Weeks Pregnant
Just like mama, your little baby is packing on the weight! Growing at a brisk rate, your baby now weighs about five ounces and is five inches in length; easily able to fit into the palm of your hand.
Additionally, the placentas massive growth has made it a powerhouse entity full of proteins, fats, oxygen, vitamins, and minerals and is a major player in the growth processes of your baby.
Check out these other awesome aspects of your baby’s current health and growth status!
|Overall Appearance: Your turnip-sized kiddo now looks nearly entirely human, with a fully formed face, growing eyebrows, eyelashes, and a smattering of hair.|
|Eyes: While their eyes are still completely shut, they can move their eyes around and sense light.|
|Fingerprints: Already having formed their own unique set of skin patterns, your baby’s fingers now have fingerprints that will remain fixed and remain with them for the duration of their life.
|Growth: Meanwhile, your baby’s trunk, legs, and arms are growing fast and catching up with the size of their head to become perfectly proportional.|
|Bones: Your baby is in the midst of undergoing bone development with their skeleton transforming from spongy, rubbery cartilage to durable hard bone.|
|Sweat glands are starting to develop. However, sweat glands do not start to work until your baby is born|
|Myelin begins to form and is encircling your baby’s spinal cord to provide protection while also helping to accelerate the receipt of messages between your baby’s nerves and brain.|
|Umbilical cord: As your baby continues to grow, the umbilical cord “lifeline” which is connected to your placenta grows more robust and much thicker.|
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge
17 Weeks Pregnant
- Inevitably, you will experience breast milk spraying out of a variety of holes – not just one. While there isn’t a fixed number of holes (it varies from woman to woman), be prepared to be surprised at the unpredictable spray pattern.
- Many women bemoan the appearance of the linea nigra marking the center of their belly. Take it in stride and wear it with pride – convert your linea nigra to be akin to being your tiger stripes.
- It’s not uncommon for pregnant women during week seventeen of their team to experience sudden fluctuations in body temperature. If you become uncomfortably hot, great ways to cool down include a dip in the pool and using pre-frozen ice packs that are ready to go.
- Stretch marks will come. Instead of fretting about it, accept their presence and start working on getting them under control by keeping your body well hydrated inside and out. Drink plenty of water and apply moisturizer after bathing and showering.
- Now is a great time to work on strengthening your pelvic muscles. Try pelvic floor exercises to increase the overall strength of your muscles for optimal bladder, bowel and womb support.
Week 17 To-Do List and Reminders
17 Weeks Pregnant
- If you’d like, go ahead and find out your baby’s gender so that you can start planning purchases and decoration schemes
- If you prefer to be surprised, many women report that it adds to the joy and excitement of the birthing process
- Start implementing strategies for saving money and cutting expenses so you can build enough cashflow to support the birthing process and beyond
- Look into any tax credits or benefits your state or federal government are able to offer you
- Start planning your maternity leave
- Consider your nursery room layout
Chloasma: Often referred to as “the mask of pregnancy,” chloasma is the presence of dry, dry, splotchy brown-colored patches of skin. When melasma affects the face, it can be found on the upper lip area, cheeks, and forehead. Affecting anywhere from fifty to seventy-five percent of pregnant women, chloasma is a hugely common phenomenon that is harmless but can create many negative feelings within women due to the unsightliness of the patches.
Cool Things to Know
- If you are having a girl, next week at the eighteen-week mark, her fallopian tubes and uterus will be properly in place and fully formed
- Regulated by its brain, your baby’s heartbeat is at the incredible rate of 140-150 beats a minute
- Would you believe that the placenta is now nearly as big as your baby? Chock full of valuable vitamins and minerals, the placenta is a powerhouse that also provides oxygen to your baby while also facilitating the removal of waste and the filtration of carbon dioxide. The placenta will continue to grow in order to maintain your baby’s changing needs. When you finally give birth, your placenta can weigh over a pound!
Ready to find out what’s next in your pregnancy journey?