Pregnancy Week By Week : 17 Weeks Pregnant - What To Expect
Hope you are having a great time 'soon-to-be-mommies'. By this week, you look all pregnant but probably not suffering from the early...
Sense of hearing
Your baby's sense of hearing is becoming sharper and it can get startled by loud noises such as that of firecrackers or a building demolition. By the end of this trimester, the baby's hearing capabilities will reach its full potential. So it is a good time to start speaking good loving things to your little one.
Development of fat cells
This is when the baby fat begins to form under the skin of your little one. The fat will continue to develop and accumulate till the end of your third trimester. The accumulation of fat stores, also called adipose tissues is important as it will provide warmth and energy to the tiny body until the time the baby is ready for birth and even after it is born.
Controlled heart beat
Remember the random heart beats of your baby during your last scanning? By this week of your pregnancy, the brain is able to regulate your baby's heart. Therefore there is a rhythm to the beats and no more random heartbeat. The little one's heart beats at around 140 to 150 beats per minute. This high heart rate is attributed to the fact that it is preparing to master swallowing and sucking skills so that it can suckle for nourishment soon after birth.
Appearance of fingerprints
Your baby has begun to develop its own unique set of fingerprints. They are not visible yet, but by the end of this week or early next week, there will appear unique, one-of-a-kind creases and swirls on the pads of your baby's fingers and toes to give it identification.
Formation of prostate glands
If you are expecting a bonny boy baby, your little man would have formed his prostate glands by the end of week 17 of your pregnancy. Additionally, the cartilage in the body transforms into harder bones to form a strong skeletal framework. However, the bones still remain quite flexible to enable passage through the birth canal as you undergo your labor and push out your baby.
Your tiny little baby is now almost 5-6 inches long. It weighs a full 5 ounces. It is almost the size of your open palm. It is bigger than the placenta by now and its umbilical cord is also lengthening, getting thicker and becoming stronger.
Body Changes & Common Symptoms
Movement of the internal organs: Though your body is comparatively relaxed at this stage of your pregnancy, your internal organs are on the move in order to make space for the growing baby inside the growing womb. The intestines are pushed up towards both sides of the abdomen.
Sciatic Nerves Pain: SNP is very common during week 17 of pregnancy. It may last until the end of your pregnancy, or go away earlier. This particular nerve is the largest nerve in the human body and lies under the uterus running until the end of the leg. Therefore, when it is pressed by the uterus, you may experience an excruciating pain in the abdominal region. It is a good idea to put pillows under the legs when in the lying position for increased support and pain relief.
Vaginal discharge, leukorrhea: If you notice a milky white discharge or similar stains in your panties, there is no need to feel alarmed. This discharge is very common and is mainly caused because of the increased production of estrogen in your body. The hormone increases the blood flow and as a result, the mucous membranes near the pelvic region gets stimulated leading to leukorrhea. It is mild smelling and sometimes even odorless.
Snoring: If you have been a silent sleeper all your life, your new snoring habit may come as a surprise. As mentioned in the week 16, the clogging or congestion in your nasal passage is one of the reasons for this new development. This is, however, a temporary symptom and will go away as your pregnancy term draws near to the end. Try using a humidifier to open the nasal blockage and keep your head on a raised platform (with two or more pillows) to reduce the snoring.
- Heating pad for pain: Are you experiencing frequent pains in your leg or the insides of your upper thigh? It is probably because your growing baby who can now move around your womb is pressing the sciatic nerve under your uterus. So what can you do about it? Not much. But you can bring down the pain by applying a heating pad or practicing light back stretches. The pain is generally worse in a sleeping position. So try to keep your feet raised while sleeping.
- Pay a visit to your dentist: The ligaments and bones inside your mouth can be affected by the hormonal changes in your body during this time of your pregnancy. You may feel the loosening of a tooth or two, and at an extreme situation a tooth may even fall out. If you are experiencing such symptoms, it is advisable to visit your dentist at the earliest.
- Avoid over the counter medication for allergies: Many pregnant women are prone to rashes and allergies during the second trimester. Most of the time, these are harmless and phase out within a few days or weeks. All most always these symptoms go away with the end of pregnancy. But if you are still worried about the allergy or the rashes are making your life uncomfortable, consult your doctor. Do not consume any over-the-counter medicines without an approval from your health care provider.
Keep yourself active and carry on with your daily work instead of settling into a sedentary lifestyle. Travel if you have to because by the time you hit your third trimester, there may be travel restrictions, especially for air travel. Eat to your heart's content and take ample rest whenever your body urges you to do so. Keep the health factor in mind when feeling tempted to gorge on fast foods and oily, deep fried snacks and sweets. With these things taken care of, you will enjoy this period of your pregnancy to the fullest.
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