In case you are wondering “how big is my baby?”, you are now nearly 4 months into pregnancy! At 17 weeks pregnant, your baby is almost as big as a pear, weighing approximately 5.9 ounces and about 5.1 inches in length. At this stage your 17 weeks foetus is growing rapidly and is also beginning to develop two of the major reflexes; sucking and swallowing. You inevitably gain more and more weight with each passing day as the baby grows by leaps and bounds!
17 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms:
Increased body fluids: At 17 weeks pregnant, your body discharges lots of fluids. The hormonal structure of your body changes and produces extra vaginal discharge, mucus, and sweat, among many other internal fluids.
Stretch marks: During this phase of 17 weeks pregnant, your uterus grows rapidly in size. The top of your uterus becomes more round in shape and pushes the intestines upwards. You naturally develop stretch marks on your stomach because the skin keeps stretching to fit in all the organs!
More rapid weight gain: At this stage, the 17 weeks foetus is surely developing more rapidly into a fine and shapely tiny human! You are likely to gain nearly 10 pounds while 17 weeks pregnant. Moreover, if you are carrying twins, gynaecologists recommend gaining weight on a healthy scale.
Sciatic nerve pain: At 17 weeks pregnant, you may experience occasional pains and cramps in your legs. The growing foetus puts extra pressure on the sciatic nerve that passes through the bottom of your feet. This is the largest nerve in your body, which triggers sensory and motor functions in your lower limbs.
Increased dizziness: The gush of hormones throughout your17 week pregnant body causes frequent dizziness. Try to take short naps throughout the day, so that you don’t feel too much drained out.
Possibility of varicose veins: Again, the lovable 17 weeks foetus! During pregnancy, the blood flow in your body increases. Your uterus puts more pressure on the “vena cava”; the vein that carries blood from the legs to the heart. This pressure causes blood clots leading to varicose veins. This situation can be treated by regular medicines. Keep your doctor informed in cases of added discomfort.
Your 17 weeks pregnant belly is more likely to look like a round ball, now that the foetus is rapidly gaining weight! The 17 weeks foetus is now gradually growing plump and developing adipose tissue around it for warmth and energy. There is a layer of healthy fats that is expected to form around the baby, making your belly look fuller!
17 Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound:
If you opt for a 17 weeks ultrasound test, you get to see that the baby in now forming bones from cartilages. The 17 weeks foetus is also developing a soft white coating around it, called “vernix”. This substance is believed to possess anti-bacterial and moisturising characteristics that protect the baby.
You can also see your baby’s mouth and chest moving as the little one breathes! “Cordocentesis” is a test in which your gynaecologist will extract some of your umbilical cord blood for determining chromosomal abnormalities.
Dos and Don’ts during Week 17 of Pregnancy:
Total wardrobe makeover: Now that you have put on lots of weight, make sure that you change your entire wardrobe and switch to comfortable maternity wear. Loose fitting clothes will give your body ample room to breathe.
Increase the fibre content of your food: At 17 weeks pregnant, you are frequently constipated. Switch to foods that contain good amounts of fibre that can help bowel regular movement. Oats, whole wheat breads, flax seeds, chia seeds, bananas, oranges, pulses, and carrots are excellent sources of fibre.
Set a proper bowel-cleansing routine: Since you are constipated most of the time, you must make it a point to cleanse your bowel as much as physically possible from your end. One of the first moves towards bowel clearance is setting a time during which you should visit the bathroom everyday. This way your brain also gets accustomed to the time for sending signals to your intestines!
Exercise regularly: Never give up on the regular moves that keep you active. Keep walking, doing pelvic exercises, and stretching your body everyday. Exercising not only helps you stay fit physically, but also rejuvenates your mind.
Eat too much seafood: Seafood contains methylmercury that slows down the mental development of your 17 weeks foetus. This compound also causes psychological developmental delays.
Eat foods containing too much licorice extract: Licorice is a herb that can help your body, but not when you are pregnant. At 17 weeks pregnant, consumption of licorice may cause contractions in the uterus, thereby affecting the foetus.
Consume too much refined flour: Refined flour products like white bread are not easy to digest. Avoid consuming foods that contain refined flour, as it might increase constipation and even cause haemorrhoids after delivery.
Stand in public vehicles for too long: While 17 weeks pregnant, you must refrain from travelling much via public transport. Standing for too long and experiencing bumpy roads may lead to extra jerk inside the uterus.
By the end of week 17 of pregnancy, you will be four months pregnant! This is the right time to start planning extensively for the coming of the baby and your long term parenthood duties. Make sure to visit your gynaecologist every week and consult a psycho-analyst if required. Follow the basic dos and don’ts of this phase and you are good to go a long way!