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In the 17th week the relaxed phase of pregnancy continues, isn’t it great? It marks the beginning of your 5th month of pregnancy. We have compiled a list of the developments that your body and your baby go through in the 17th week of pregnancy.
Important facts about the 17th week: What you should know
Your baby continues to grow briskly in the 17th week of pregnancy and is now about 12 cm tall and 120 g heavy.
His skeleton continues to form and his hearing is improving. Your baby can now hear sounds and listen to your conversations.
You can hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. The baby’s proportions are also becoming clearer and, in addition to the organs, all the extremities can be recognized.
This happens with you
As your baby continues to grow vigorously, your uterus also grows larger to provide enough space for it. Therefore, your abdominal girth grows.
You don’t see a baby bump yet and are worried about it? There is no reason to be. Every belly grows individually. In most cases, the belly is visible between the 16th week and the 25th week.
There are several factors that determine the size of the baby’s belly. One is the size of the baby, but your own stature also plays a role. The firmness of your abdominal wall and the amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus are also important.
So not every belly can be the same size at the same time.
Weight gain goes hand in hand with the growth of your child and is therefore not absent during pregnancy.
Don’t worry about the extra pounds. Many of them come from factors such as the weight of the fetus, the amniotic fluid, the uterus and the placenta. They are lost again bit by bit on their own after birth.
Your breasts also continue to grow. To optimally support your belly and breasts as they grow, it is important that you regularly care for the skin and thereby make it elastic. Lotions and oils such as coconut or almond oil are ideal for this.
Your nipples and areolas are likely to become darker in the 17th week and the linea negra will form. This is a dark line that runs from the belly button to the pubic bone.
The skin changes occur because more melanin is deposited in the skin layers. The melanocytes are responsible, which want to better protect the body from sunlight by producing a darker skin tone.
Some women get more dark pigmentation on the body. Do not let this worry you. You may not like the changes very much, but most of the time the dark spots disappear after birth and lighten up again.
Tip for expectant fathers
Childbirth preparation courses are part of everyday life for your wife. But why only for your wife? You can certainly learn something and support your wife with regard to the birth. If you feel uncomfortable as a man in a childbirth preparation course: There are also courses that are designed only for men.
Pregnancy symptoms in the 17th week and what you can do about them
Basically, in the 17th week of pregnancy you are in the relaxed stage of pregnancy, in which most pregnancy discomforts have subsided.
However, due to the continued growth of the uterus, you may still experience abdominal pain during the 17th week of pregnancy. In some women, the sciatic nerve is also under a lot of strain.
This is because the pregnancy-related weight gain shifts the body’s center of gravity forward and puts more strain on the lower spine. The larger the fetus becomes, the more the uterus presses on the tissue above the sciatic nerve or triggers a backlog of blood from the veins, which then presses on the nerve.
You can relieve the discomfort with massage or the application of heat, because both have a relaxing effect on the muscles. A physiotherapist can also help you to train a back-friendly behavior for everyday life.
Sometimes alternative methods such as acupuncture are used. This should definitely be discussed with an experienced doctor beforehand.
You suddenly forget everyday things and have to write everything down to remember everything?
No need to worry – pregnancy dementia affects a lot of expectant mothers and is no reason to worry about your mental health. Talk to those around you to make your life as easy as possible. Also, to-do lists help you keep important things on your mind.
What can be seen on the ultrasound during the 17th week of pregnancy?
As long as your baby allows a glimpse, your gynecologist will be able to determine its gender with increasing probability. By the 20th week at the latest, it is possible to determine the sex of your baby with certainty.
If you happen to visit your gynecologist or midwife at exactly 17 weeks’ gestation, you will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope for the first time.
You will never forget this moment when you hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
What is the risk of miscarriage in the 17th week of pregnancy?
You are in your 5th month of pregnancy at 17 weeks gestation. Since the 14th week, the risk of miscarriage has decreased to a minimum of 0.5%. It remains at this value until the 24th week of pregnancy.
Therefore, there is no reason for you to worry about miscarriage. If you are well and you do not have any complaints, then your baby is usually well too.
What happens to the baby
In order for your baby to be able to regulate the heat of its body, it is now not only focused on gaining size, but also on gaining fat.
Your baby’s facial expressions are also becoming more pronounced and the face is taking on its final shape. The eyes were still a little to the side and are now in the right place just as the ears.
In addition, your treasure is very active and diligently trains his muscles and reflexes, which are thus becoming more and more pronounced.
Your baby’s hearing is also improving. If there is a loud noise around you, your baby may suddenly flinch because it has also heard the noise.
When you touch the belly, your little treasure perceives this very precisely. Your everyday movements calm your baby and also train his balance.
How your baby develops in the 17th week of gestation
In the 17th week of gestation, your baby is also gaining a lot in size and weight. He or she is now about 12 cm tall and 120 g in weight. It is now the size of a potato.
However, length alone is no longer important for the stage of development. Your gynecologist measures the circumference of the head and chest and the length of the thigh bones. Based on these values, the stage of development can be determined and, if necessary, even the delivery date can be corrected.
The bones continue to form during the 17th week of pregnancy. Although they remain elastic until birth, they basically continue to harden. This process is not yet complete even after birth. The bones are not fully hardened until the teenage years, when the child is fully grown.
The bone marrow and the nerve cells are protected by the myelin membrane from the 17th week of gestation. This is a protective layer made of proteins and fats that wraps around the bone marrow. It protects the nerve cells and makes it possible to send out electrical signals.
This is important now
Pregnancy means that there is a greater volume of blood in your body than is normally the case. Together with the development of the fetus, your circulation will have to do a lot in the next few weeks.
This increases the pressure on the veins and the hormonal changes of pregnancy make the veins more elastic. In addition, the weight of the uterus presses on the veins in the abdominal area.
This is how varicose veins develop. These are vein dilatations that become noticeable as varicose veins or hemorrhoids. Pregnant women who stand a lot or are expecting multiples suffer more from these consequences than other pregnant women.
Vein dilatations in the pubic area usually disappear again after birth. Varicose veins in the legs, on the other hand, unfortunately often remain after birth. They are not only visually unpleasant spots, but also hurt.
Of course, you want to prevent unsightly and painful varicose veins as much as possible.
Try to avoid standing and sitting for long periods of time. It can help you if you put your legs up as often as possible and also make sure that your legs are in an elevated position when you sleep by placing a pillow under them.
Your gynecologist and midwife can also advise you on varicose veins and prescribe possible treatments or preventive measures.
Here’s how you can support your body during the 17th week of pregnancy
Pelvic floor training
If this is your first pregnancy, you may not have given much thought to your pelvic floor. In normal everyday life you don’t feel it and usually don’t even know it’s there.
This changes in the course of pregnancy: the pelvic floor is exposed to the full load of the baby and is heavily stressed within a very short time. Exercises for the pelvic floor can help – talk to your doctor or a midwife about the possibilities of pelvic floor training, your body will thank you.
Even after pregnancy, the pelvic floor is usually still pretty battered from the strain of the last weeks and months. Here, postnatal gymnastics is of great importance in order to maintain a stable pelvic floor.
Cover iron requirements
The high blood volume also increases the iron requirements of expectant mothers. Overall, the blood volume increases by about 50 %. Iron is used to transport oxygen from the red blood cells and helps strengthen the immune system. Due to the high demand for iron, iron deficiency can occur relatively quickly during pregnancy.
But do not worry. You can get the 30 mg a day you need from foods such as meat, poultry and fish. Fruits and vegetables also contain iron, but not enough to cover the daily requirement. Then you can help out with preparations to prevent the lack of iron.
The best thing to do is to have your gynecologist check your iron levels. He can prescribe the appropriate preparations and advise you on your diet.
Drink a lot
Continue to drink 2 to 3 liters of water, unsweetened juices or tea daily. This will keep your organs well flushed and reduce the likelihood of an infection.
In addition to the obvious ban on alcohol during pregnancy, you should also avoid soft drinks, especially those containing quinine, such as bitter lemon
It is a magical moment when you hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
You’ll never want to stop listening to the beating of your little heart.
Maybe you don’t have to – some parents-to-be just can’t get enough of their offspring’s heartbeats, so they buy their own stethoscope.
Then you can also relax at home on the sofa or listen to the sound of your sweetheart’s heart at any moment.
Maybe that’s an idea for you, too.
Baby is in the 17th WOP with about 12 cm as big as a potato.
During the 17th week of gestation, the fetus continues to grow, causing the uterus and abdominal girth to increase as well.
The risk of miscarriage in the 17th week of gestation is very low (0.5%). However, the most common signs of miscarriage are bleeding, severe cramping pain and pulling in the lower abdomen and lower back, as well as fever and purulent discharge.
If you are unsure whether everything is okay with your baby, play it safe and get it checked out by a gynecologist. Better once too much, than once too little.
Many moms-to-be describe that the early baby movements feel like a gentle tickle or flutter in the belly as if there were butterflies in there.
In the 17th week of pregnancy you will enter the 5th month of pregnancy.
WOP 17 videos
Find out what Ysis is dealing with during her 17th WOP and what her experiences have been.