Week 17 of Pregnancy
Your Baby in Week 17 of Pregnancy
My how your baby has grown! She’s about the size of your palm, weighs about five ounces, and is developing some body fat (join the club, baby!). Her heart is now regulated by her brain (no more random beats) to beat 140 to 150 times per minute — about twice as fast as yours! What else is up? She’s practicing the survival skills she’ll need at birth — like sucking and swallowing.
Learn more about your baby in week 17 and a baby’s body fat.
Your Body in Week 17 of Pregnancy
Now that you’re starting to show, chances are that friends, coworkers, and even strangers may feel the urge to reach out and touch your belly. If you don’t mind, that’s fine. But if you do, speak up kindly but firmly. More new developments with your body: a slight vaginal discharge (leukorrhea) and a greater sensitivity to allergens these days — both are totally normal — and the appetite of a truck driver now that the queasy feeling is (probably) gone.
Learn more about your body in week 17 and your growing appetite.
Week 17 Pregnancy Tip: Snoring
If your partner finds your new snoring habit about as sexy as a hippo in a thong (which, by the way, you’re starting to feel like), take heart. The stuffiness that often triggers world-champion snoring is common and temporary, another unexpected (make that inexplicable) side effect of those pregnancy hormones at work (that’s right, even your nose is affected by pregnancy hormones!). Try putting a humidifier in your bedroom, using one of those nasal strips on your nose to open up your nasal passages (doesn’t look pretty, but it works for some people), or sleeping on a couple of pillows to keep your head slightly elevated. And if he still complains, buy him a set of earplugs — or banish him to the couch for the night; after all, it’s more important that you get a good night’s sleep these days.
Learn more about snoring during pregnancy.
Week 17 Pregnancy Symptoms
Increasing appetite: Does your appetite seem insatiable these days? That’s because your growing baby is demanding more nourishment. Listen to your hunger pangs and eat when you need to; try to choose foods that fill you up and meet your nutrient needs (high-fiber grains, produce, and lean protein).
Heartburn or indigestion: If you find yourself feeling the burn after a big meal, avoid lying down after eating to keep gastric juices in the stomach where they belong.
Flatulence: As your uterus expands and puts pressure on your rectum, you may find it harder to control the muscles in that area — which can lead to some gassy outbursts. One way to reduce the gas: Eat slowly (eating too quickly can cause you to swallow air, which can form gas pockets in your belly).
Occasional headaches: Whether hormones, fatigue, tension, or some other culprit causes your headaches, it’s usually okay to take acetaminophen during pregnancy to alleviate the pain. But check with your practitioner first.
Occasional faintness or dizziness: Dehydration can cause dizziness, so make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day (aim to drink more than that if you’ve been exercising).
Backaches: Ease this common pregnancy symptom by making sure you have a supportive chair at work and a firm mattress at home. Otherwise, get a cushion for your chair to place behind your back so you can keep your posture in line, and place a board underneath your mattress to firm it up.
Stretch marks: This badge of pregnancy is hereditary, so if you start finding some stretch marks on your body, it may be because your mother had them too. But if you gain weight at a steady rate (instead of in big spurts), this may keep the stretching gradual and, as a result, less extreme.