17 Weeks Pregnant

As week 17 comes and goes, you are probably feeling much more comfortable with your pregnancy and dealing more easily with your symptoms. You are starting to show, and you look more like a pregnant woman than a woman who is overeating. Ultrasounds, tests, and routine check-ups should be a part 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 you will begin to show. Your abdomen grows as your internal organs move 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 may be an occasional pain in the legs called sciatic nerve pain, which can be excruciating for some women. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and it runs under the uterus, traveling down the entire length of the leg. The cause of the pain is usually pressure on the nerve caused by the growing baby, and it can sometimes be alleviated by avoiding standing in one place for too long, or by putting pillows under your legs while sleeping at night to provide support. Your doctor may be able to suggest other ways to relieve the pain. Sweating may increase as the blood volume increases. Also, some women experience vaginal discharge and/or nasal congestion. This is normal and goes away after child birth.

Baby’s Development

At a whopping 5 ½ inches long, your baby weighs close to five ounces, more than the placenta at this stage. The umbilical cord is growing in length, strengthening and thickening. Loud noises can easily startle your baby, as their sense of hearing is developing 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 of the arms and legs; 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, although the bones remain flexible to allow for passage through the birth canal. If your baby is a boy, he will form prostate glands during this 17th week.

17-weeks-pregnant

Pregnancy Week 17 Tips

  • Some women begin to see rashes form and develop new allergies. 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. Ask your healthcare provider which ones are safe.
  • If you’re experiencing cramps or discomfort, try changing sitting, standing, or sleeping positions more often.

Next is pregnancy at 18 weeks.

[Page updated May 2014]