When you are 17 weeks pregnant, your baby is twice as heavy as two weeks ago. Now he or she is focusing on gaining fat to be able to keep warm outside the womb.
It is very possible that mom now becomes even more hungry than before as a response to your baby’s focus on storing fat.
This article will cover fetal development, how big your baby is, what month you are actually in, pregnancy symptoms, and what’s happening with your belly and body, mom.
What to Expect at 17 Weeks Pregnant
In this article…
How Many Months is 17 Weeks Pregnant?
Counting weeks and months during pregnancy can be quite confusing.
A month is typically not 4 exact weeks, but rather 4.5 weeks.
We say that pregnancy is 9 months, but 40 weeks… It doesn’t really go together and is due to the mismatch between weeks and months. This is why most doctors don’t talk about months at all, only weeks!
There is also a difference between which month you are in and how many months pregnant you are.
You think of it the same ways as with how old you are: You are 30 years old, once completed 30 years…
You are 3 months pregnant when you have completed 3 months of pregnancy.
So when 17 weeks pregnant, you are in the last week of being 3 months pregnant, but in your fourth month. (But stop counting months! :-) )
You are in the second trimester.
Your Baby at 17 Weeks
How Big is my Baby at 17 Weeks?
Your little one at this stage has grown quite a bit larger, weighing somewhere around 5 ounces (140 gram) and is approximately five inches in length (12.7 cm).
If you were to hold your child at this stage, he/she would rest comfortably in the palm of your hand.
Your baby is now the size of a large onion.
The fetal age of your baby is 15 weeks.
Fetal Development When 17 Weeks Pregnant
At this time period of the pregnancy, the fetus experiences many changes:
- The cranium begins to develop bone, replacing the previous cartilage.
- The little heart is pumping more than twenty-five ounces of blood through the body per day.
- By now your child has noticed the joints and the ability to move them – he/she will begin to move them even frequently than before.
- The umbilical cord has become stronger.
- The sweat glands have begun their development and your child has the ability to hear now.
This is a great opportunity to begin the bond with your child. Because he/she can hear sounds now some experts say that playing a piece of calming music helps.
Here’s an example of an ultrasound scan when 17 weeks pregnant. This little baby is quite big for his fetal age, though. Cute!
Another thing – have you started your baby registry yet? Here is a list of great stores for baby registries to get you going.
Mom’s Body When 17 Weeks Pregnant
Your Belly in Week 17
This time of your pregnancy, you are likely to be experiencing big changes. Your uterus is no longer attempting to cradle a ball but rather an egg-shaped object. Your organs will shift aside as necessary to make room.
You may be starting to show a baby bump, especially if this is not your first pregnancy.
As your uterus has positioned itself below your belly button, you may be developing a tiny pooch. You may even feel a little off balance. As your belly grows larger gravity will begin to have an effect on you.
When riding or driving wear your seat belt but wear it comfortably. Be sure to keep the lap portion of the belt below your tummy; wear it across your hips.
You should be gaining weight at a steady pace. If you are curious about what your weight gain comprises of, read all about it here.
Your body is discharging pretty frequently now. It appears as a white milky substance. This is normal and your body’s way of keeping your vagina clean to avoid infections. The odorless substance is all part of the change.
If it does possess an odor, it could be a yeast infection and should be discussed with your doctor immediately.
Things to Do and Buy in Week 17
Don’t forget to talk to your baby; your little one can hear you, and many parents will talk to their babies well before they are born as part of their own way to make that parental connection before birth.
You might want to reassess your life. Stressful situations for work and/or personal reasons should be avoided. Studies have shown that stress can cause difficulties during pregnancy, premature birth, difficulties during labor, and more. You can read more about stress during pregnancy here.
Of course, some stress just cannot be avoided. In this case, take the opportunity to listen to some calming music with your little one and relax as soon as you can.
Some women find that keeping a journal helps to remember those questions that you think of between appointments but can’t seem to remember when the time comes.
As I mentioned, your baby’s hearing is now so well developed that he or she can hear your voice.
Talking to your child will strengthen the bond along with rubbing your tummy in slow circular motions. Even though your child is still pretty small, your touch can be felt.
All of these actions can assist in not only bonding with your child but keeping him/her calm.
If you want to get serious with caring for your baby’s mental wellbeing and development already, check out the WavHello BellyBuds, Baby-Bump Headphones (Link opens in a new window to Amazon, where you can read reviews.)
This program provides audio lessons for your baby-to-be. You simply strap on the apparel; very easy to use and quite an interesting opportunity to try out, even though it is, of course, impossible to say if your baby’s rapid development after birth has been improved by using BellyBuds.
A pregnancy journal is also great fun as a memory. This special time never comes back! (You can read my journal below. And please share your own in comments below, lots of moms would love to read it!)
Some parents start preparing their lives in more ways than one, drawing up a will, changing beneficiaries, or even getting life insurance are important aspects that need to be addressed once you have dependents to take care of.
Start creating a baby registry, if you haven’t. I personally love Amazon for that!
Week 17 Video
Diary of a Daughter
What’s it really like being 17 weeks pregnant…? Here’s a true diary from a 17 weeks pregnant mom (Me..!)
Now I can feel tiny kicks every day, especially in the evening. I’ve heard that babies start gathering fat at this point in time. I hope so because I’m so hungry again and I don’t want to be the one gathering all the baby fat… :-)
Are you also 17 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below!
- Weight gain during pregnancy, what is normal and not
- See what your baby is up to in these fetal development videos
- Poll: How is your body changing during pregnancy?
Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD, The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. A Child Is Born
Soderberg, L., Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.