By now, your waistline is probably getting snug! Here’s what’s going on with you and your baby during the 17th week of pregnancy!
Your Body at 17 Weeks Pregnant
The top of your uterus is somewhere between 1.5 and inches below your navel. You may notice you look pregnant, or you may just look as though your abdomen is swollen. Some women may not look any different than normal and have no visible signs of pregnancy or abdominal swelling. These are all very normal. By now, the average weight gain is between 5 and 10 pounds, but this weight gain varies greatly depending on many factors, so don’t be alarmed if you fall outside of this range.
Your uterus is smaller than it will be in the weeks to come, and you’re probably able to breathe fine right now; enjoy it while you can! Pretty soon your uterus will extend above your navel and into your ribcage, compressing your organs upwards.
If you haven’t felt your baby move yet, you may feel your baby’s first movements this week! These first movements are often described as a fluttering or bubbly feeling! Enjoy them, because pretty soon they’ll turn into sharp kicks and jabs to the bladder!
You may notice increased vaginal discharge during this week. This extra discharge is thought to be the result of higher estrogen levels as well as increased blood flow to the genital area. This discharge, although uncomfortable, is not harmful, however, if it has a strong odor or is any color but white or cream, then you should schedule an appointment with your caregiver to get it checked out. If any discharge is clear colored and water-like, it could be amniotic fluid; a sign of pre-term labor. If you suspect you’re leaking amniotic fluid you should get medical attention immediately.
You may be experiencing what is known as round ligament pain more intensely this week. This round ligament pain is due to the ligaments on either side of the uterus stretching and growing to support the expanding uterus. Moving more slowly may help ease these pains.
Your Baby at 17 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby now measures between 4.4 and 4.8 inches long and weighs about 3.5 ounces! Your baby is the size of a turnip this week!
Your baby’s skeleton is changing from soft cartilage into hard bones. These bones will continue to grow, harden and fuse together even after her birth!
Your baby should be able to hear by the 17th week and she may even respond to noises! Her movements are probably infrequent, but this isn’t a cause for concern, as movements generally won’t become more regular until much later on. Your baby has several reflexes by this point, including the suck and swallow reflex!
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