Your Pregnancy: Week 17

Pregnancy week by week: You are 17 weeks pregnant


Your Body

Healthy weight gain in pregnancy varies from woman to woman — a pound a week is recommended in the second and third trimesters — but rest assured not all of it is fat. The extra weight is broken down between the placenta, uterus, amniotic fluid, baby’s weight, your mammary glands, elevated blood volumes and, lastly, maternal fat and nutrient stores.

Water retention leads to a swollen face, hands, legs, ankles and feet, a universal pregnancy symptom called edema. Your body retains much-needed fluids to meet the needs of your unborn baby and prepare your pelvic joints and tissues for delivery. Summer heat, heavy activity, standing for extended periods and too much caffeine can worsen the condition. Counteract its effects by elevating your legs and increasing your fluid intake.

You’ve haven’t snored a day in your life and now suddenly your keeping your partner up at night. Irritated nasal passages — common in pregnancy — are to blame. Elevating your head with an extra pillow might help.

Heartburn that painful, burning sensation in your chest occurs when progesterone relaxes the valve between your esophagus and stomach. The valve can’t perform its normal function of stopping gastric acids from passing back into the esophagus and causing irritation. Prevention is the best medicine. Skip greasy, fatty and spicy foods, eat six small meals a day and wait at least an hour before lying down after eating.

Baby’s World

From crown to rump, he measures 11 to 12 cm. (4.3 – 4.7 in.), weighs 100 g (0.22 lb.) and is the size of an open palm. His body looks more proportional now that his torso and limbs are catching up to his once enlarged head. His eyes face forward, and he’s beginning to hear your heartbeat and muffled voice inside your body. Sweat glands are under construction and fat is depositing underneath his skin, which will eventually generate body heat. At this stage in development, his body is made up one percent fat and 85 percent water. The umbilical cord is thicker and sturdier.

Fun Fact

The baby’s ankles, feet and toes grow at a slower rate than his wrists, hands and fingers.

Week 16     Week 18

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