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Pregnancy Week 17

Pregnancy Week 17: A Journey of Growth and Development

Pregnancy week 17 marks a significant milestone in your pregnancy journey, as your baby undergoes rapid growth and development. This week, your little one’s physical features become more distinct, and their movements become more pronounced. As a mother-to-be, you may experience a range of physical and emotional changes during this week.

Your Baby’s Development

At 17 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is about the size of a pomegranate, measuring approximately 5.1 inches (13 centimeters) in length and weighing around 3.5 ounces (100 grams). This week, your baby’s growth spurt continues, and their body proportions become more balanced.

Physical Features:

  • Head and Face: Your baby’s head is still disproportionately large compared to their body, but their facial features become more defined. The eyes, nose, and mouth are now clearly visible, and the ears have moved to their final position on the sides of the head.
  • Limbs: Your baby’s arms and legs continue to grow and develop. The fingers and toes are now fully formed, and the nails are beginning to grow.
  • Skin: Your baby’s skin is still thin and translucent, but it is gradually thickening. The vernix caseosa, a protective waxy coating, covers the skin to protect it from the amniotic fluid.
  • Internal Organs: Your baby’s internal organs are continuing to mature. The liver is now producing bile, and the kidneys are functioning. The digestive system is also developing, and your baby may begin to swallow amniotic fluid.


Your baby’s movements become more pronounced during week 17. You may feel gentle flutters or kicks, known as quickening. These movements are a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

Your Body

As your baby grows, your body undergoes a series of changes to accommodate their needs.

  • Uterus: Your uterus continues to expand, rising out of the pelvis and into your abdomen. This may cause your belly to become more noticeable.
  • Weight Gain: You may gain about 1-2 pounds (0.5-1 kilogram) during week 17.
  • Breasts: Your breasts may become larger and more tender as they prepare for breastfeeding.
  • Hormonal Changes: The hormone relaxin continues to soften your ligaments and joints, which may lead to increased flexibility.

Common Symptoms

During week 17, you may experience a range of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue: You may feel tired and run down, especially during the first trimester.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Morning sickness may continue to be a problem for some women.
  • Constipation: The hormone progesterone can slow down your digestion, leading to constipation.
  • Heartburn: As your uterus expands, it can put pressure on your stomach, causing heartburn.
  • Frequent Urination: Your growing uterus may press on your bladder, causing you to urinate more frequently.

Tips for Week 17

  • Get Enough Rest: Listen to your body and rest when you need to.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: Nourish your body and your baby with a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Exercise Regularly: Moderate exercise, such as walking or swimming, can help improve your overall well-being and reduce pregnancy-related symptoms.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol: Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol, as they can cross the placenta and reach your baby.
  • Talk to Your Doctor: If you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.


Pregnancy week 17 is a time of significant growth and development for both you and your baby. As your baby’s physical features become more distinct and their movements become more pronounced, you may experience a range of physical and emotional changes. By following these tips and staying in close communication with your doctor, you can ensure a healthy and fulfilling pregnancy journey.

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