Hey mommy! How’s it going? I hope you are well and excited by the baby to come. I am sure that you are, now that you feel a lot better. At 17 weeks you are supposed to feel more energetic and less tired than before. Not necessarily true for some women though. Luckily, the human body is able to adjust to a lot of given circumstances, pregnancy is no exception. Especially that we are genetically programmed to breed. Your body is made for this, so embrace it, enjoy it, make the best of it!
Fetus development at week 17
A 17-week fetus weighs about 5 ounces (150 grams) and measures 5 inches (14 cm). The baby would be even longer, 9 inches (23 cm) if it could stretch out. If you could hold your baby now, you would be able to fit him/her in the palm of your hand. That’s how tiny he or she is.
The umbilical cord is now much thicker and grows stronger every single day. This is very important, as all the nutrients and oxygen come from you through it. And to think about it, that’s all the baby needs to grow stronger and bigger until birth.
Believe it or not, your baby is going green! Not in the manner you may think. It’s just that the baby recycles the amniotic fluid by swallowing up to a liter a day. Don’t worry. It will come back in the amniotic sack. By week 17 the kidneys should function properly, and the amniotic fluid will be peed back out in the sack. Speaking of bodily functions, the first stools (which go by the name of meconium) are now beginning to accumulate. However, the baby will not poop in the womb, clearly.
If by any chance, you had or will have a 17-week ultrasound, you will notice that the baby’s face is more pronounced now, it looks entirely like a human’s face. Everything is where it is supposed to be. A fetus at 17 weeks even has eyebrows and eyelashes. The baby’s eyelids are still fused shut, but somehow he/she can move the eyes around.
Most women do not have a 17 weeks pregnant ultrasound because it doesn’t represent a milestone in pregnancy unless it’s an emergency. But many do just because they want to see their baby or because they have the pleasure of hearing their baby’s heartbeat, which is pretty fast I must say. By 17 weeks the baby’s heart is being regulated by the brain and beats 140 – 150 times per minute. That is about twice as fast as yours.
Symptoms at the 17th week
As for you, mommy, you have reached a point where you may wonder “what was that?” Lots of women wonder “when will I feel my baby move?” The answer is ‘right about now’. You still have doubts if the movement you felt was your baby or just gas. Oh well, you may begin to feel the baby moving around. I cannot tell you exactly what you feel or will feel. Some women describe it as butterflies in the stomach, a little fluttering now and then, but only you can describe it properly. It’s all about perspective.
At 17 weeks pregnant your doctor or your midwife may recommend pelvic floor exercises, to strengthen those muscles. Do not treat this advice lightly. Long – term speaking, you will be grateful. By doing these exercises you will help the pelvic muscles to work properly after you give birth. You will save yourself from embarrassment by doing so. You don’t want to pee a little every time you have a good laugh, do you?
As for the rest, stay healthy by eating right, and stay as active as possible. Don’t succumb to a couch potato state. It will not do you much good. And don’t forget, don’t let worries spoil your pregnancy!