At weeks 17, your internal organs are started repositioning to provide space for the uterus which contains the baby. Your centre of gravity changes at this stage and you may experience that you are somewhat off balance. Try to avoid anything that may put you at risk of falling, such as wearing high heels. Trauma to your abdominal region could seriously impact you and your baby’s health.
You might occasionally feel pain in the legs, called sciatic nerve pain, which could be extremely painful. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs under the uterus, travelling right down the entire length of the leg. The pain is usually caused by pressure on the nerve, caused by the growing baby. The pain may be reduced by changing your posture, not standing in one position for too long or putting pillows under the legs while sleeping to provide support. Physiotherapy may also provide relief.
At 17 weeks pregnancy symptoms are most commonly due to your rapidly growing baby. Here’s what you’re likely feeling this week:
- Increased bodily fluids Vaginal discharge, sweat, mucus, and other fluids are in full force because of your increased blood flow.
- Weird dreams You gave birth to a chipmunk? Married your boss? Having strange dreams might be caused by your hormones, but it might also be the result of your nerves and anticipation.
- Itchy boobs and belly As baby’s growing, your skin is stretching thinner and can be more sensitive. Resist the urge to scratch, and find a soothing skin cream that eases the itch. (We like Belly All Day Moisture Body Lotion.)
- More rapid weight gain You may have gained about 5 to 10 pounds by now. It’s normal to gain about 1 to 2 pounds per week in the second trimester. Sudden or excessive weight gain could be a sign of a problem though, so talk to your OB if it’s higher than that.
- Stretch marks As you’re putting on some pounds and your uterus continues to expand—we hate to break it to you—getting some stretch marks might be inevitable. (Especially if you’re 17 weeks pregnant with twins!) Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and use a good quality moisturizer to try to combat them.
Development of Baby
A baby at pregnancy week 17 is the size of a pomegranate. The fetus is about 5.1 inches (13 cm) long and weighs about 5.9 ounces (167 grams).
As the umbilical cord becomes thicker and stronger, the skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone. The Fetus has growing some meat on those bones, putting on some fat.
Your 17-week fetus is growing a stronger, thicker umbilical cord too.
Sweat glands are developing and joint flexibility increases.
You may develop rashes and new allergies. Don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare practitioner about a possible solution. Be careful of over the counter medications and ask your healthcare practitioner or pharmacist to advise you on which products may safely be used.
If you’re experiencing cramps or discomfort, try changing your sitting, standing or sleeping positions more often.