Week 17 Of Your Baby’s Development!
Your baby is the size of a turnip
Baby is now about as wide as your palm or the size of a turnip and weighs around four ounces. While his skin is still pretty delicate, he has the downy lanugo (super fine hair covering the skin) to keep warm and comfy.
Your placenta has been fully functional for a few weeks or so now so your baby gets all nutrients through this amazing channel. The placenta will continue to grow as your baby does and by the time he is born, it will weigh about a pound!
Your baby’s eyes are developing at a fast rate and soon he will be looking around even though the eyelids will remain shut for a while yet still. Baby’s brain regulates his heartbeat which is now around 140 beats per minute, much faster than yours.
You’ll get to see the heartbeat rate at your upcoming second trimester scan, and it can be fun to guess the gender based on the anecdotal theory: if it’s less then 140 beats per minute, you’re having a boy and if more than 140 beats per minute, you’re having a girl. Of course, you’ll find out with a good degree of certainty the gender of your baby at this scan too, if you’re keen to find out. Just be sure to confirm with the technician if you would like to know before you start the scan to avoid any ‘slips’!
Week 17 Of Your Health, Mind & Body Changes
Your belly is most likely quite evident now (especially if this is your second pregnancy) and you may be starting to think about how difficult it is going to get in the coming months to bend over and do things like tie your laces. Your breasts are growing bigger and they may be really sensitive and sore to touch at times.
While you may not yet realize it, baby is moving around a lot and she is big enough for you start feeling the action. As of now, you may still be passing some of it off as a rumbly tummy or just some minor twitches. As the days go by, you will realize that it is more than that!
Many moms-to-be talk about bad or really vivid dreams that keep occurring during this time. A lot of it can be attributed to anxiety around pregnancy and childbirth fears but also to pregnancy symptoms like restless leg. Of course, the fact that your belly begins to get in the way when you shift positions also contributes to a broken nights sleep.
“I bought one of those giant u-shaped pregnancy pillows so I didn’t have to re-position anything when I rolled over in bed – even though it took up heaps of room, it was SO comfortable and supported my belly perfectly.“ Emma
Week 17 Of Your Next Steps!
- Try and keep doing those pregnancy safe recommended exercises consistently as long as you feel able. Staying active during your pregnancy can help you stay fit and increase your chances of a smoother labour and better recovery.
- A good time to start practicing your pelvic floor exercises is now. These are particularly important because they help strengthen the muscles that support your bladder and lower bowel. A Stronger pelvic floor can help reduce incontinence during pregnancy as extra pressure is placed on these muscles, particularly when you laugh or sneeze. Resuming them post birth as soon as your healthcare provider advises it’s safe to do so, will be just as important.
- How are you going with exercising caution with smoking and alcohol consumption? Remember, there is no safe level for either of these activities during pregnancy and everything you consume is passed onto your baby through the placenta. Similarly, these activities can affect the health of your placenta, which in turn can affect the growth of your baby. If you need help curbing an addiction, reach out to someone you trust or a health care professional for some assistance now.