Your Baby is the size of a


Your baby is busy learning how to suck and swallow! Your body’s increased estrogen and melatonin production may give you a darker, more sun-sensitive complexion, with a “mask of pregnancy” on your face, or a Linea nigra down the middle of your stomach. Give some love to your sensitive skin and use a good lotion or cream to help minimize any scratchiness.

Week 17

Length : 13 cm

Weight : 140 g

Week 17
Length : 13 cm
Weight : 140 g

Your Baby is the size of a


Your baby is busy learning how to suck and swallow! Your body’s increased estrogen and melatonin production may give you a darker, more sun-sensitive complexion, with a “mask of pregnancy” on your face, or a Linea nigra down the middle of your stomach. Give some love to your sensitive skin and use a good lotion or cream to help minimize any scratchiness.

Your little one is learning how to suck and swallow, getting ready for nursing or bottle-feeding. They are also developing fat deposits underneath their skin, accounting for about two to six percent of their body weight at birth and becoming a source of warmth and energy. Their fingerprints are also nearly formed!

Your little one's umbilical is growing longer, too, preparing for the more demanding second half of pregnancy, providing oxygen and nutrients along the way. Also, your baby's limbs have almost entirely become bone, and they can hear your voice!         

By week 17, you may feel like you're in this strange middle place where you've gained a little weight, but your overall look doesn’t yet deliver that "I'm pregnant" message. On top of that, you could feel clumsier than usual now that your baby's belly is carrying weight in a higher, more out-in-front-of-you position. It's normal if you sometimes feel unbalanced in a bewildering, wobbly-in-my-heels way. It may be time to put away your high heels and take out your comfy flip-flops, sneakers, and snuggly warm boots.

Yes, you are eating for two. But that isn't a permission slip to eat the world on a silver platter. At 17 weeks, you should be consuming about 2,200 calories per day. Fill these calories with nutritious choices, including lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Because of your body's increased estrogen, your melatonin production has increased, too. This sometimes leads to a darker, more sun-sensitive complexion, such as a "mask of pregnancy" on your face or a "linea nigra" down the middle of your stomach. Both of these are normal, and any badges of human-growing honor will fade after childbirth. Your stomach and breast/chest may feel itchier as your skin stretches. Give some love to your sensitive skin, and use a good lotion or cream to help minimize your desire to get scratchy.

Have you felt the quickening yet? Often described as feeling like little flutters or bubbles of indigestion, those gentle, first fetal movements are hard to recognize because they're well-surrounded and cushioned by amniotic fluid. If you haven't felt anything yet, there's no need to worry because every pregnancy is different. Recognizing those first fetal movements at any point between 16 and 22 weeks is considered normal.

Gather your patience; soon, those little wiggles will grow strong, and you'll feel and recognize them regularly. If you have an anterior placenta 
(when the placenta attaches to the front of the uterine wall), the amniotic cushioning may prevent you from feeling fetal movements until later in your pregnancy.

As time progresses, you will begin to feel movement with more frequency. And around week 25, the movements become strong enough to feel - and SEE! - from the outside of your stomach. You may even notice a pattern in the time of day when your baby is active or calm. This is your first glimpse into the personality of that little person on the inside. Does your baby want to stay up all night? Are they wigglier when you're playing loud music? Do they kick every time you drink milk? Enjoy getting to know your little one from the inside out.         

At 17 weeks, the nausea of the first trimester is a thing of the past and the discomfort and sleeplessness of the third trimester are yet to come. This means you are in the golden phase of pregnancy. Here is a list of symptoms you may experience this week.

Weight gain: typical weight gain at this point will be somewhere in the range of five to ten pounds. Your healthcare provider will monitor your weight throughout your pregnancy and be able to tell you if there is anything to be concerned with.

Itchy stomach and/or breasts and stretch marks: there are many skin changes throughout pregnancy, and itchy stretch marks is just one of them! As your baby continues to grow and your body grows to accommodate, your skin may experience stretching, leaving marks and causing discomfort. You can utilize lotions and creams to soothe irritated skin; but stretch marks are largely genetic and not something you should feel guilty for not “preventing”. 

Crazy dreams: vivid dreams can be some of the more interesting pregnancy symptoms. While the cause is unknown it may have something to do with hormones, or the fact that nausea or frequent urination means you are not sleeping as deeply and can remember your dreams more easily. 

Increased clumsiness: if you find yourself falling off-balance a little more than usual, you are not alone! Your expanding belly causes a dramatic shift in your center of gravity, which can cause increased clumsiness. 

Increased vaginal discharge: increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy is called leucorrhoea. This symptom can serve as a protection for your growing baby as it prevents infection from traveling up the vagina and into the womb. You can wear a panty liner if it makes you more comfortable, but do not use tampons or insert anything into your vagina during pregnancy.  

Stuffy nose and/or nasal congestion: pregnancy rhinitis is a common symptom where the mucous membranes lining the nose become inflamed. Additionally, increased blood volume can lead to enlargement of veins (including those in the nose.) This can result in congestion, a runny nose, and even nosebleeds. Check with your healthcare provider before medicating any congestion, and be sure to familiarize yourself with best practices for nosebleeds.

Increased appetite: as your baby continues to grow, your appetite may be growing too! Many foods may taste better than ever during pregnancy, so enjoy indulging your cravings (within reason)! 

Headaches: a common pregnancy symptom, headaches can be caused by hormonal changes and increased blood flow. Take time to be sure you are well-hydrated and getting enough rest. Talk to your healthcare provider if headaches and dizziness is frequent, especially if accompanied by additional symptoms such as blurred vision or heart palpitations. Some individuals may also experience severe headaches, called migraines, which your healthcare provider should be made aware of in order to find relief.

Heartburn and/or indigestion: as your baby continues to grow and press on internal organs, your digestive system is likely to feel the impact of cramped quarters. This, paired with continuing hormone fluctuations can result in heartburn or indigestion. Talk to your medical care provider about options for relief if you’re feeling too uncomfortable.         

This week, there are many tests you should talk to your midwife or doctor about. These screening and diagnostic tests will help determine your baby's risk level for certain conditions and complications, including amniocentesis, CVS, and cordocentesis, and a nuchal translucency. You aren't required to take these tests, though it is highly recommended if there is a family history of any genetic conditions, irregular hormone level, or abnormal bone measurements.

But there are certain risks associated with these tests, so be sure to discuss these risks and any other possible complications involved with each until you are entirely comfortable with each diagnostic or screening test you decide to take.

Now that you have a little baby belly, your seatbelt might not rest where it used to. So... where should you place your seatbelt? Keep the lap portion of the belt under your belly, securely against your hips. No matter what, don't skip the seatbelt altogether because any trauma to your abdomen could harm your baby.

Speaking of driving, now is a great time to test-drive a few names for your little one. If you and your partner are having trouble deciding or agreeing on a name, there's hope yet! The birth is still months away, and any feelings surrounding a certain name can easily change by then. Come up with a list of about 5 to 10 names, and have your partner do the same. Try saying them out loud. Then pick one and use that name for a few days whenever you talk to your belly. Have fun with it! Who knows, the name you initially rejected might grow on you, and the name you loved might feel all wrong.

Don't forget to keep track of your pregnancy milestones! Take a pregnancy profile picture this week, and write in your journal. You'll be surprised at how quickly this time goes by, and be thankful for each little moment or thought you record along the way.         

At a Glance

  • What did you say?: Hearing develops between 16 and 22 weeks, so feel free to start talking to your little one, singing, or playing music.
  • Stretch marks: Stretch marks are largely genetic, but you may want to apply cream or lotion to ease itchiness or discomfort.
  • Constipation: Hormonal changes, supplements, and diet changes can all play a role in increased constipation during pregnancy.
  • Maternity photos: Many families treasure maternity pictures long after the birth of their baby as a preservation of this unique time.
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Louise Broadbridge

Expert Midwife

Hi, my name is Louise, I am a registered senior midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby antenatal classes and the face behind instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have taught over 100,000 expectant parents since starting my antenatal classes which have 5* reviews.

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The information on the Your Baby Club website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always discuss any health concerns with a qualified healthcare provider and carefully review all guidance that comes with any medications or supplements before taking.