Week 17 of Your Pregnancy

Many women have lots of energy at this stage. As the baby moves up in your abdomen you won’t need to go to the toilet as often, and if you had nausea, it is hopefully now a thing of the past.

PREGNANCY WEEK 17



Your Body at Week 17 of Your Pregnancy



Stuffy Nose

Many women have stuffy nose during their pregnancy and this is again due to hormones and increased blood volume. But, if you have a fever, coughing, sore throat, then it's probably a cold or another infection. Talk to your doctor, and eat foods high in vitamin C.


Backaches

As your belly gets bigger, your lower back curves more than usual to accommodate the load, resulting in strained back muscles. Try to soothe these sore muscles by getting a prenatal massage, even from your partner, or taking a warm bath or shower.


Heartburn and Indigestion

If you’ve got a burning sensation from the depths of your stomach to your mouth after you eat, then you’ve got pregnancy-induced indigestion and heartburn. Avoid heartburn triggers like spicy or fatty foods and caffeinated drinks and ask your doctor about pregnancy-safe heartburn remedies.


Fainting and Dizziness

This is a common symptom during the second trimester and is most likely due to normal pregnancy-related cardiovascular changes (a higher heart rate, bigger blood vessels to accommodate an increased blood volume, and temporary changes in circulation). Dehydration can also cause dizziness, so make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day — aim to drink more than that if you’ve been exercising.


Headache

Headaches are a common pregnancy symptom. You may be able to avoid them by eating small meals frequently, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, exercising, practicing relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga, and getting a prenatal massage. Do not take any medicine without consulting your doctor.


Stretch Marks

You may start seeing stretch marks around this time of your pregnancy. Many women get stretch marks, it maybe due to genetics, it may be due to rapid weight gain. Keep the area well moisturised with a pregnancy safe cream, butter or oil and keep yourself well hydrated. Try to not scratch as it may worsen the skin.


Appetite and Food Cravings

During the second trimester most women find relief from nausea and food aversions and start to feel like to eat, finally. This is a good thing.


Weight Gain

Starting in the second trimester, your baby's getting bigger and bigger, and consequently, you should be too. Your growing baby is demanding more nourishment. Listen to your hunger pangs and eat when you need to; try to choose foods that fill you up and meet your nutrient needs, like high-fiber grains, produce and lean protein. Aim for slow and steady weight gain, around 2 kgs each month on average, but again it depends on your medical condition and pre pregnancy weight.


Decreasing Fatigue

Your body has kind of adjusted to your pregnancy, and you may start to feel less tired and more energetic.


Breast Growth

While your breasts are still growing and changing — for instance, your areolas are probably darker and your nipples may be on “high alert” — they may not feel as achy as they did in your first trimester.


Constipation

Hormones relax your bowel muscles, so they are not that efficient in moving the waste products out from your body. Add high-fiber foods to your diet, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, along with plenty of fluids, too.


Visible Veins

You may notice veins crisscrossing their way across your belly and breasts, this is due to increased blood supply. These veins are doing the important work of taking nutrients and blood to your baby. They will gradually disappear.


Pregnancy Brain

Your brain-cell volume actually decreases during pregnancy. Pregnancy-induced brain fog is a fact. You may forget stuff that you had no problem remembering earlier, like maybe why you walked in the kitchen, where you placed your keys and so on. Don't worry it will get better on its own.


Round Ligament Pain

The ligaments on the right and left side of your lower belly are stretching out and getting thinner. As your belly gets heavier, the weight pulls on the ligaments, causing sharp or dull pain — especially when you walk or turn to the side. Try to take some rest whenever you can.


Bleeding Gums

Pregnancy hormones cause gum inflammation, making them more susceptible to bacteria, irritation and bleeding. While this is normal, it’s important to keep flossing and brushing regularly. Also see the dentist at least once during pregnancy to avoid gum disease.


Vision Changes

Your vision may seem blurrier and your eyes drier. Vision changes are common during pregnancy. Pregnancy changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation can all affect your eyes and eyesight. These changes are usually minor and will go away after you have your baby. Sometimes vision changes can be caused by a more serious condition, though, so talk to your doctor if you have blurry vision, double vision, temporary loss of vision, or anything else unusual.


Itchy Skin

Mild itching is a normal pregnancy skin problem. You may feel it around your breasts and belly where the skin is stretching a lot. Sometimes eczema worsens during pregnancy, also making for itchiness. For relief, try applying an ice pack or a cold compress to the itchy area, moisturize using a safe cream, butter or oil. Call your doctor if you're very itchy or if you develop a new rash.


Weird Dreams

Pregnancy dreams are weird and strange, this is again due to hormones and intense emotions. Vivid dreams, sex dreams, and nightmares are all normal. Reflecting on your dreams can give you information about your emotional state. But don't worry too much about it.


 

Your Baby at Week 17 of Your Pregnancy


How big is my baby?

Your baby is growing rapidly, and might be bigger than the placenta now. They weigh about 150g and are about 13cm long - about the length of a nail file.


They are now developing a layer of fat called the adipose layer. This helps them to gain weight and will define their features. The umbilical cord is becoming thicker and stronger. The external sex organs are fully formed so it’s usually possible to see the baby’s gender on an ultrasound.


Their kidneys are also functioning now. The baby swallows amniotic fluid and passes urine about every 50 minutes. Their taste buds are working and they can tell the difference between sweet and bitter. There are tiny lines on their fingers that will develop into their unique fingerprints.




Your Baby's Skin

Sweat glands are starting to develop. And by next week, the layers of your baby's skin will be fully formed.


Your Baby's Bones

Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone. Support your baby's bone health and even your health by eating calcium-rich foods.


 


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