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Week 17 of Pregnancy: All you need to know

Baby Development|Body & Life Changes|Your Doctor Visits|Health & Safety
Week 17 of Pregnancy: All you need to know

Baby Development

While you are in your second trimester of pregnancy, you will notice significant changes happening to your body and feel your baby developing more. Growing a human baby is wonderful and there is a lot to learn if you want to know more about how to take care of your growing fetus. Here are some things that you ought to learn in your 17th week of pregnancy.

How Your Baby Develops

Your baby is beginning to create fat tissue or adipose tissue. This tissue is meant to help fill out your baby’s features, protect organs, insulate their body, and to store their energy.

Your baby may weigh more than their placenta, weighing in at about 4 ounces. Additionally, the fetus may be about 5 ¾-in. Long.

Your baby’s auditory bones will also have significantly developed. Your small baby can hear you speak to them or other people and hear music.

Other than the baby, the placenta and umbilical cord are growing steadily. The lengthening and thickening of these parts will help nourish your fetus. Additionally, they will help bring oxygen and nutrients from your body to your baby.

Body & Life Changes

How Your Body Will Change

As the weeks pass during your pregnancy, you will notice that your baby is starting to move more. Remember that your baby might move more or less than other people’s babies at this stage – every baby will act differently.

Many women may feel their baby’s first movements from the first 16-20 weeks of their pregnancy. It will often feel like a slight shifting movement or bubbling or fluttering.

However, your baby may not be the only thing that is moving in your body now. Since your uterus will be halfway between your belly button and pubic bone, they will nudge your intestines toward your abdomen’s side.

As your baby grows, you may feel some pressure on the biggest nerve of your body, the sciatic nerve. You may experience occasional pain along the area the nerve is whenever your baby pushes on it.

You may notice that you have increased bodily fluids, such as mucus, sweat, and vaginal discharge. That is because your blood flow is increased.

A strange symptom you may experience at this stage is weird dreams. However, that could stem from anticipation and nerves along with your hormones.

For the more visible symptoms, you may experience rapid weight gain, about 1 pound each week, during the second trimester. While it varies from each woman, you may also see some stretch marks as your belly starts to grow. Additionally, your belly and boobs might feel itchy, but you ought to resist the urge to scratch it.

In the earlier stages of your pregnancy, you may have experienced a lot of morning sickness. However, those days may be long gone now that your appetite is growing. Remember to try choosing healthy and safe foods to eat to nourish your baby properly whenever you are hungry.

Your Doctor Visits

When You Should Contact a Doctor

Once you reach the second trimester of your pregnancy, your chances of a miscarriage are low, but still possible. If you get any symptoms such as severe abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding, you must contact a medical professional right away. Additionally, you may call a doctor if you have a fever.

Health & Safety

As your baby grows, they will be demanding a lot more to healthily grow highly. However, you need to make sure that the tips that you listen to are backed up by facts and science.

For instance, a common saying that we hear in countries like America or the Philippines is that “you need to eat for two people.” However, the little person growing inside of you is much smaller than the average human being, so you do not need to go overboard with your calorie intake. During the second trimester, eating around 340 extra calories a day is ideal.

Other than thinking about how many extra calories you are eating, you need to think about the food that you are consuming. As a good rule of thumb, you should avoid food that is not fully cooked throughout your pregnancy since it puts you at risk of food poisoning.

Besides undercooked and raw foods, you may want to avoid unpasteurized milk products, such as soft cheeses. They can contain bacteria that could give you an infection.

While having a few sweets in moderation is alright, you should not go crazy on consuming sugar. You should also make sure to reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake.

Additionally, you may want to take vitamin D supplements if your prenatal vitamins do not have vitamin D. Taking enough vitamin D is beneficial for you and your baby’s development. Make sure you speak to your doctor to know how much you should take daily.

Doing low-impact exercises daily is an excellent way to keep you and your baby healthy during your pregnancy. At this point, a lot of people may recommend you to do aerobics. Aerobics can help you strengthen the muscles, lungs, and heart.

You can also do simple exercises to help stay healthy and strong for your baby. A quick swim or a brisk walk for 10-30 minutes a day can easily make a positive impact on your body.

Exercises that strengthen your pelvic muscles are also ideal to do at this stage of your pregnancy. Make sure you choose gentle exercises when you want to tone these muscles.

Your baby will need a lot of attention and care as it grows. Make sure you read up on all the legitimate information as you can to know how to properly take care of your growing baby.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Kip Soliva Updated May 08, 2020
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.