17 Weeks Pregnant

image001When you are 17 weeks pregnant, you are starting to show more and feel like a pregnant woman. At this stage, you start some planning like whether or not you want to know the baby’s gender and which prenatal class you want to opt for. As you decide on these choices, the pregnancy starts to feel more real. You get more excited about your pregnancy and trips to the doctor for regular check-ups become a part of your weekly life.

What Are the Pregnancy Symptoms at 17 Weeks?

Baby’s first movements are felt around this time in your pregnancy and you may feel mild movements in your belly. These are because the baby starts kicking at this stage. However, at this point the sensation is very gentle and soft, so no one besides you will be able to sense the kicks.

You will notice a few physical changes in your body apart from the belly growth. The areola (dark colored circle around the nipples) starts to expand as your breasts increase in size. This is a normal pregnancy symptom and will go away at most a year after the baby is born.

You may also notice visible changes in your skin such as pigmentation on your face. The linea nigra (a dark line, vertically running down your abdomen) may also appear. You do not need to worry about these changes; they will disappear once the baby is born.

How Does Your Baby Grow When You're 17 Weeks Pregnant?

The baby is now almost 11 centimeters from crown to toe and weighs about five ounces. The cartilage of the baby’s skeleton starts to harden as you progress further into your pregnancy, the umbilical cord thickens and becomes stronger as it grows in length. The baby’s sense of hearing progresses rapidly and the ears move to their final resting mark. The baby starts developing sweat glands all over the body and his/her spinal cord is now being enveloped by a protecting substance called myelin.

The baby also starts to look more normal at this stage. The head does not look as big anymore, as the rest of the body starts to grow and the baby’s limbs surpass his/her head.

You can watch this video and get more information about how your baby grows when you are 17 weeks pregnancy:

How Does Your Life Change When You're 17 Weeks Pregnant?

As the belly grows, you might sometimes feel wobbly and unsteady on your feet. This is because with the increase in the size of your belly, your body’s center of gravity shifts. At this point, it is important that you avoid wearing heels to minimize the risk of a stumble or a fall, which can be very dangerous to you and your baby’s health.

Your eyes may also become drier. If you wear contact lenses, they might be uncomfortable and painful. Switch to using glasses until after the baby is born and use over-the-counter lubricating drops to fight the dryness in your eyes.

What About Diet at 17 Weeks Pregnancy?

During pregnancy you need to maintain a healthy diet and avoid foods that are harmful for your baby. In order to attain the required nutrients, it is important for you to know which foods you should consume and which foods you need to avoid.

1. Healthy Foods

Foods and Nutrients

Descriptions

Carbohydrates

Most starchy food such as bread, pasta, rice, yams, potatoes and couscous are full of carbohydrates and energy. These foods should be in the main part of your meals.

Vegetables and fruits

These foods are abundant in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fibre and plant compounds.

Calcium

You would also want to increase your calcium intake during pregnancy for stronger bones. Dairy products including cheese and yogurt are good sources for calcium consumption.

Proteins

Proteins are also important for tissue building of your baby. Meat, fish, eggs and beans are all protein rich foods. These foods are also a good source of iron, which is also important during pregnancy.

Omega-3 fatty acids

They can be attained by eating oily fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon, fresh tuna). Omega-3 fats help in the production of your baby’s brain and neurological development.

2. Nutritious Meals

You can obtain all the required nutrients during pregnancy by combining a variety of foods for each meal you eat. For breakfast you can choose between scrambled eggs with whole meal toast and glass of juice or milk, or porridge with semi-skilled milk. You can also eat fruits along with fruit juices for breakfast.

For lunch, fruits and natural yogurt along with baked beans on whole meal toast or pasta and a piece of fruit cake or ham and salad sandwiches can be some of the options.

Similarly, a variety of combination of different foods can be chosen for dinner. Rice pudding with baked potatoes, spaghetti with malt loaf, and chicken with vegetables, stewed apple and ice cream are a few choices.

What Can You Do When You're 17 Weeks Pregnant?

1. Deal with Rashes and Allergies

You may be one of the few women who form different allergies and rashes during pregnancy. Ask your health care provider for a possible solution to these problems. Changing your sleeping, standing and sitting positions can also help in minimizing and reducing the irritant. However, be wary of over-the-counter medications; ask for your doctor’s advice before you start using one.

2. Make a Baby Name List

Now is the time when you and your partner decide on choosing a name for your baby. Make a list of baby names and ask your partner to do the same. Exchange lists and cross out the name you dislike and continue doing so until you find a set of names you both agree on. Talk about your likes and dislikes in names. Setting ground rules may also help in narrowing down possible options.