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Seventeenth Week Of Pregnancy

Week 17 of Pregnancy: A Journey of Growth and Development

The seventeenth week of pregnancy marks a significant milestone in the journey of carrying a new life. As the second trimester progresses, the fetus undergoes remarkable growth and development, while the mother’s body adapts to accommodate the growing baby. This article delves into the physical, emotional, and hormonal changes experienced during this pivotal week.

Fetal Development

At 17 weeks gestation, the fetus has grown to approximately 5.1 inches (13 centimeters) in length and weighs about 3.5 ounces (100 grams). The body proportions become more balanced, with the head being less prominent compared to the rest of the body.

Facial Features and Movements

The facial features of the fetus become more defined, with the eyes, nose, and mouth becoming more distinct. The eyelids are now fully formed and can open and close, although the eyes remain shut. The fetus also begins to make facial expressions, such as frowning and smiling.

Limb Development and Motor Skills

The limbs of the fetus continue to grow and develop. The fingers and toes are now fully formed, and the fetus can grasp objects and make fist-like movements. The fetus also begins to kick and move more vigorously, which can be felt by the mother.

Internal Organ Development

The internal organs of the fetus continue to mature. The liver is now producing bile, which is essential for digestion. The kidneys are also functioning, producing urine. The heart is fully formed and beating regularly.

Hormonal Changes

During the seventeenth week of pregnancy, the levels of the hormone progesterone continue to rise. Progesterone helps to relax the muscles of the uterus, preventing premature contractions. The levels of the hormone estrogen also increase, contributing to the growth of the uterus and breasts.

Physical Changes in the Mother

Uterus Growth: The uterus continues to expand to accommodate the growing fetus. It is now about the size of a grapefruit and can be felt just below the navel.

Breast Changes: The breasts continue to grow and become more tender. The nipples may darken and become more prominent.

Weight Gain: The mother may experience a gradual weight gain of about 1-2 pounds per week.

Emotional Changes

The second trimester is often associated with a sense of well-being and increased energy levels. However, some women may still experience mood swings and emotional sensitivity.

Common Symptoms

Fatigue: Fatigue is a common symptom during the seventeenth week of pregnancy due to the increased demands on the body.

Nausea and Vomiting: While morning sickness typically subsides by the end of the first trimester, some women may still experience occasional nausea and vomiting.

Constipation: The increased levels of progesterone can slow down digestion, leading to constipation.

Heartburn: The growing uterus can put pressure on the stomach, causing heartburn.

Frequent Urination: The increased blood flow to the kidneys can lead to frequent urination.

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Prenatal Care: Regular prenatal appointments are essential for monitoring the health of the mother and fetus.

Nutrition: A healthy diet is crucial for providing the necessary nutrients for the growing baby.

Exercise: Moderate exercise, such as walking or swimming, is beneficial for both the mother and fetus.

Rest: Getting enough rest is important for managing fatigue and promoting overall well-being.

Emotional Support: Having a support system of family, friends, or a therapist can help navigate the emotional challenges of pregnancy.


The seventeenth week of pregnancy is a time of significant growth and development for both the fetus and the mother. By understanding the physical, emotional, and hormonal changes that occur during this week, expectant mothers can make informed choices to ensure a healthy and fulfilling pregnancy. Regular prenatal care, a healthy lifestyle, and emotional support are essential for a positive and memorable pregnancy journey.

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