17 Weeks Pregnant

17 Weeks Pregnant : What to Expect

As week 17 comes and goes, you are probably feeling much more comfortable with your pregnancy and dealing with symptoms. You are starting to show and look more like a pregnant woman rather than a woman who is over eating. Ultrasounds, tests and routine check-ups should be apart of your weekly life as you continue to get more excited about the birth of your child.

Symptoms and Body Changes at 17 Weeks

At 17 weeks pregnant you will begin to show. Your abdomen is pooching out as it continues to grow. Your internal organs are moving around, providing space for the uterus and baby. Your uterus begins pushing your intestines up and outwards, towards the sides of your abdomen, allowing you to feel your uterus more when you’re standing rather than sleeping or lying down. There might be an occasional pain in the legs called sciatic nerve pain which can be extremely painful for some women. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs under the uterus, traveling right down the entire length of the leg. The cause of the pain is usually related to the pressure on the nerve caused by the growing baby and can sometimes be reduced by avoiding standing in one place for too long or putting pillows under the legs while sleeping at night to provide support. Talking with your doctor about this pain will allow you to gain other options to help relieve the pain. Sweating may increase as the blood volume increases. Also, some women experience vaginal discharge and/or nasal congestion, however, this is normal and goes away after child birth.

Baby’s Development

At a whopping 5 ½ inches long and weighing close to 5 ounces, your baby weighs more than the placenta at this stage. The umbilical cord is growing in length, strengthening and thickening too. Loud noises can easily startle your baby as their sense of hearing is progressing rapidly, the bones are fully formed and the ears have moved into their final resting spot on the sides of the head. Speaking of the head, it doesn’t seem as large anymore due to the continued growth in length of the arms and legs. The arms and legs now surpass the head and your baby is looking more and more normal. Adipose tissue develops and helps to regulate the body temperature, and vernix, which is a protective cover, develops over the baby’s skin. The little skeleton transforms from cartilage to bone, however the bones remain flexible to allow for an easy pass through the birth canal. If your baby is a boy, he will form prostate glands during this 17th week.


Pregnancy Week 17 Tips

Some women begin to see rashes and new allergies form. If you are plagued by these symptoms, don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider about a possible solution. Be careful of over the counter medications and ask your healthcare provider to see which ones are safe. If you’re experiencing cramps or discomfort, try changing sitting, standing or sleeping positions more often to help reduce the irritants. Next is pregnancy at 18 weeks.

[Page updated April 2013]