17 weeks pregnant: Symptoms and more

17 weeks pregnant is the month 4 of your pregnancy. Only 5 months left to go!

Your baby at week 17

Your baby is about the size of an orange, about 12cm long, and weighs roughly 150g. Your baby’s eyelashes and eyebrows are starting to grow. At this stage, your baby already have a unique fingerprint. Your baby’s eyes can move, although his eyelids are still shut, and won’t open again until week 26.

Your body at week 17

At this stage, hopefully any fatigue or nausea you’ve been feeling has let up. If not, just look down at your growing belly to remember the reason you’re going through it all. Your uterus will continue to expand for your growing baby, your organs will shift to make room, possibly leading to some more frequent gastrointestinal (GI) issues such as heartburn or indigestion.

Your symptoms at week 17

  • Hemorrhoids. It’s true … they’re a pain in the you know what! Hemorrhoids are essentially veins in the rectum that have become over-dilated due to increased blood volume and flow in the pelvic area. Though hemorrhoids are more common later in pregnancy, it’s smart to take steps now to help prevent them, such as following a high-fiber diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting regular exercise. And if you’re looking for ways to soothe hemorrhoids, try soaking in a warm bath (without soap or bubble bath) and avoid sitting for long periods of time. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you have severe pain or bleeding.
  • Itchy or sensitive skin. At 17 weeks pregnant, your belly and breasts are still growing, and the skin is stretching, which can sometimes lead to stretch marks and itching. Although you can’t completely prevent stretch marks from appearing, you can help reduce the itchiness by drinking lots of water and applying moisturizer to your skin in the mornings and evenings.
  • Heartburn and indigestion. By this time, morning sickness is a thing of the past for most moms-to-be, but you might be experiencing heartburn and indigestion, two symptoms that can also hit later in pregnancy. Try to eat several small meals each day, and avoid spicy foods or other foods that you find contribute to your discomfort. It can also help to eat slowly and avoid lying down right after eating.
  • Leg cramps. In the second trimester, you may find your sleep interrupted by leg cramps. It’s not known what causes these cramps, but you can try stretching your legs before bed or massaging your calf muscles if a cramp strikes. Staying hydrated and physically active can also help, as can wearing comfortable, supportive shoes.
  • Lower back pain. Your expanding uterus is changing your center of gravity and your posture, putting more pressure on your back. As you gain weight during your pregnancy, you may experience lower back pain from time to time, but exercise and stretching may help relieve some of the discomfort. Applying a heating pad to the affected area may also offer some relief. If you can, try to avoid standing for long periods of time. Your healthcare provider can also advise you on how to handle any form of back pain at 17 weeks pregnant, and beyond.

Checklist

  • Planning a babymoon? Schedule a prenatal checkup before you travel.
  • Get a professional bra fitting at your local lingerie or department store. You’ll want to make sure you’re wearing the most comfortable bras as your pregnancy progresses. Available at Online Store 
  • Start a baby name shortlist.