Pregnancy: week 17

Fetus at 17 weeks

Your baby is now about 13cm and weighs about 167g, and is the size of an orange.

Their primary task is to work on getting stronger, while your body is getting bigger. 

A fetus at 17 weeks
3D image of fetus at 17 weeks

Your baby at 17 weeks

The skeleton is turning from cartilage to bone, and your baby is getting bigger and stronger. 

Sweat glands 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.

Your body at 17 weeks

Here’s what you might be experiencing:

  • Itchy boobs and belly where the skin is thinning and stretching
  • Stretch marks
  • 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.
  • Exercise regularly – choose something you love doing the most.
  • Try to control your stress levels at this time. If you can eliminate areas of 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, especially pants.
  • If you’re keen and able to take one, now’s a good time to start planning a babymoon!

Click here for pregnancy at 16 weeks.