Your baby is now 13cm and weighs about 167g, making them the size of an orange. While you might not be able to feel your baby’s movements, they are becoming more active. Your baby’s primary task is to work on getting stronger, while your body is getting noticeably bigger.
Your baby at 17 weeks
Your baby’s skeleton is turning from cartilage to bone, and they are getting bigger and stronger by the day.
Sweat glands and fingernails are starting to develop, and your baby can make sucking movements with their mouth and drink the amniotic fluid.
Your baby is making adipose or fat tissue, which first appears on the face, neck, chest and stomach wall. This fat tissue has a vital role to play in insulating the body, protecting the organs and storing energy.
Here’s what you might be experiencing:
- Itchy boobs and belly where the skin is thinning and stretching – massaging tissue oil or a thick moisturiser into the skin daily can help ease the discomfort.
- Stretch marks. Up to 90% of pregnant women will develop stretch marks before delivery.
- More bodily fluids such as sweat and mucus owing to your increased blood flow.
- A feeling of being a little off balance as your centre of gravity is changing while your belly develops.
- Strange dreams owing to the hormones.
Taking care of yourself during this time
- Try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet where you can, but don’t deprive yourself either.
- Drink plenty of water – it’s crucial in helping your body to build new tissue, form amniotic fluid and flushing out toxins and waste from both your body and your baby’s body.
- Exercise regularly. While it’s not advised that you start a vigorous exercise routine while pregnant, it’s good to stay active. Try brisk walking or yoga, but it’s most important to choose something you enjoy.
- Try to control your stress levels at this time. If you can eliminate areas of intense stress, then that’s a good start. If you’re battling a bit, it might be worthwhile chatting to a professional who will be able to help.
- If you’re struggling to fall asleep, use bed pillows or a pregnancy pillow to relieve pressure points.
- Your clothes might be getting a bit tight, so now’s a good time to get some maternity clothes.
- If you’re keen and able to take one, now’s a good time to start planning a babymoon!