Your baby needs to gain some much-needed muscle at 17 weeks pregnant so this week they will start putting some fat on the bone.
How big is my baby?
At 17 weeks pregnant your baby will be around 5.5 inches in length and weigh 178 grams. Here’s the interesting part – that’s around 6 ounces, which is the size of a pear!
What’s my baby doing at 17 weeks pregnant?
Hair & wax
Do you remember the name of the hair that keeps your baby snug and warm whilst it develops body fat? It’s called lanugo and at 17 weeks pregnant your baby’s lanugo will also start to be accompanied by a coat of vernix.
Vernix is an important wax that coats the skin of your baby to help keep away the amniotic fluid in the womb.
You will see some vernix covering your baby at childbirth.
Your baby is busy making lots of fat tissue (adipose). These fat cells will start to appear in their breast, neck, stomach, and face.
So what’s the point of all this fat? What if my baby becomes too fat? Well, the fat produced this week has many important functions for your baby and will help them store energy, keep warm, and protect vital organs.
Sucking & swallowing
Your little one will be sucking and swallowing in preparation for life outside the womb. But wait, there’s more. Your baby drinks amniotic fluid and makes sucking gestures to fine-tuning some of the essential skills needed to survive in the outside world.
Is it true that babies develop their own identity before 20 weeks? Yes, it is and over the next few weeks, your baby will develop creases and small swirls on the tips of its fingers and toes.
It gets even better because these creases and swirls are more commonly known as fingerprints!
Your baby is forming its very own identity and becoming one of a kind.
Pregnancy symptoms & your body
Belly & boobs
You may have noticed that your pregnancy belly has been getting larger and your breasts have also been increasing in size. To prepare for postpartum feeding, your hormones and glands (for milk) are getting ready for feeding so it’s not uncommon for women to jump up by two or three cup sizes around 17 weeks pregnant!
For women with small breasts, this can be quite a shock (or pleasant surprise!).
Pelvic & back pain
Your body is now producing a hormone called relaxin. This hormone helps your body relieve stress for your ligaments and joints to cope as your baby grows and stretches out your body and to prepare your pelvis for childbirth.
Lots of mums report backache at 17 weeks pregnant and this tends to be why.
Your morning sickness should be a thing of the past and it’s very likely that you now can’t get enough to eat. For many women, a healthy appetite is a prominent pregnancy symptom in trimester two.
Don’t be shocked if you find yourself hungry enough to dissolve meals big enough for two at 17 weeks pregnant. You might be asking yourself why you are suddenly eating twice as much food but you can relax (fatty). Your baby is growing and getting larger and hungrier. Therefore as your baby demands more energy your hunger levels increase.
If you are concerned about your weight gain speak to your GP or Midwife.
Things to do at 17 weeks pregnant
Unfortunately, back and pelvis pain tends to get worse in pregnancy as you move towards your third trimester.
Pregnancy backache can be caused by an increase in the size of your belly or boobs. Here’s how you can manage backache pain. Try some very gentle pilates or yoga. Trust us, these exercises are fantastic at loosening your spine and releasing some of the tension of pregnancy back pain.