17 weeks pregnant and body changes
You may be experiencing a range of different symptoms from your pregnancy. Every baby and each Mum is different, but there are many commonly-experienced symptoms at 17 weeks pregnant:
- Are you hungry constantly? Your baby is growing, so make sure you feed him or her. Focus on nutrient-rich foods and snack on fruits, vegetables, high fibre grains and lean protein.
- You might be developing stretch marks. This is hereditary, and there’s not much you can do about it, sorry. However, if you gain weight steadily rather than in big spurts, this can minimise the marks. Keen your skin hydrated using a cream or skin-safe oil.
- Feelings of dizziness and fainting are not uncommon thanks to your blood flow changes and increased progesterone. Eat low GI foods that burn off slowly, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and if your exercise intensity is high, try easing back a bit and see if that helps.
- Heartburn and indigestion are also common during pregnancy. After a meal, avoid lying down to keep your gastric acids where they should be. If symptoms persist, see your doctor or midwife about some over-the-counter solutions.
So, what are the symptoms of 17 weeks pregnant in New Zealand?
Breast growth at 17 weeks is normal
Your breasts may have changed a lot since your pregnancy began. There’s increased blood flow to the breasts, which makes them bigger and causes veins to become more visible. They can feel tender and swollen, so choose a comfortable, supportive bra.
17 weeks pregnant pains
If you feel pain on the sides of your torso it may be due to stretching of ligaments that support your uterus, and your baby growing. This is normal but if you are concerned, or the pain is too intense, or lasts too long, contact your LMC immediately.
Round ligament pain can be overwhelming, you can consider a belly band to alleviate the pain.
This nerve runs from your lower back, down through your buttocks and down the backs of your legs to your ankles and feet. Pain from sciatica is common in pregnancy due to lower back issues as you gain weight and nerves are compressed. The pain could range from numbness and tingling through to sharp shooting pains that radiate down your legs.
To alleviate the pain:
- Exercise is good. Although it may not feel like it, sitting still will make it worse.
- A heating pad may help to ease pain.
- Yoga and stretching. Try cat/cow, pigeon pose, and a range of other gentle stretches.
Teeth problems while pregnant, and healthy calcium levels
Pregnancy affects everything from your head, to your toes. Your teeth, gums and facial bones can suffer during pregnancy. Maintain good oral hygiene and brush twice a day, and floss once. If you find loose teeth, your gums are bleeding, or you experience tooth pain, see your dentist.
Part of this is due to the fact that your baby needs a lot of calcium to grow. Your baby steals all the calcium you consume, leaving you with very little, so you need to up your intake of calcium.
You don’t need to eat or drink dairy products to up your calcium levels. You can buy calcium fortified orange juice, as well as eating lots of leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli. Also, tofu, almonds and sesame seeds are good for you. If you get a blood test and your calcium levels are low, your midwife may suggest a calcium supplement.
Skin problems when pregnant
Hormones can make pregnancy skin a nightmare. Acne, sun spots, a line down your belly, heat rashes, mole changes, and skin tags can all be caused by your hormones.
While you don’t need to rush off to the dermatologist as most symptoms will fade once you have your child, skin changes can be frustrating. Get them checked out- especially mole changes. Keep an eye out for skin cancer, as NZ has high rates. Irregular borders, changes of colour, texture changes or sudden new moles—see your doctor.
Pregnancy back pain
As your baby grows and you put weight on around your midsection, it puts extra pressure on your back, and can lead to back pain. Stay active, try yoga and pilates to stretch and loosen the spine. Both forms of exercise also give the added bonus of generally helping with pregnancy aches and pains, and strengthen your core. However, since you’re now well into your second trimester, remember that you shouldn’t be lying on your back.
None of these are specific 17 weeks pregnancy symptoms, they could happen earlier, later, or not at all.
What’s happening to your baby at 17 weeks pregnant?
How big is baby at 17 weeks?
At 17 weeks, baby size is about 12 cm long and weighs 100 grams, your baby is still very tiny. This week brings the development of brown fat, which will help keep your baby warm after birth.
The placenta, which provides nourishment and oxygen to your baby and removes waste, is growing to ensure there’s enough room for your baby. More than 3cm thick, it contains thousands of blood vessels that take nutrients and oxygen to your baby. The umbilical cord is growing thicker and stronger and the skeleton is transforming from cartilage to bone.
What is my baby doing at 17 weeks in the womb?
During the following three weeks your baby will grow so much that he/she will double in size. The circulatory system and the urinary tract are developed and will be working. Your baby is also inhaling, but not inhaling air as we do, instead he or she inhales amniotic fluid.
Can I feel my baby at 17 weeks?
First time Mums may start to feel their baby at around 17 weeks. Second-time Mums may have felt movements back as early as 12 weeks. However, it depends on your body. An anterior placenta will mean baby’s movements are harder to feel, and women who carry more weight may start to feel kicks later on.
Can I lay on my stomach at 17 weeks pregnant?
If you are comfortably lying on your stomach at 17 weeks, then it’s fine. If it is starting to become awkward or uncomfortable, it’s time to lie on your side.
How does your stomach feel at 17 weeks pregnant?
Every woman, and every pregnancy is different. Your stomach may even change throughout the day. It could be soft and flattish in the morning, then by evening it could be round, tight and hard.
What's the chance of miscarriage at 17 weeks?
By 17 weeks, your chance of miscarriage is less than 1%. You’re well into your second trimester now and the risk has greatly reduced. Risk of loss is slightly higher for women over 35 years of age, those with a higher BMI, and BIPOC, but even so this is only around 2%.
Can you miscarry without bleeding at 17 weeks?
Yes. Bleeding during a miscarriage is due to the uterus emptying. This does not occur for some women. This is called a missed miscarriage. Symptoms of a miscarriage are vague, and mimic normal pregnancy progression, such as a decrease in pregnancy signs. Seek help if you suddenly experience nausea, vomiting, unexplained diarrhoea, or back pain.
Should I be showing at 17 weeks?
It depends. If you’ve had a child before, your body will remember what to do and you might start showing very early. It depends on your body type. However, those skinny jeans might be starting to get a bit tight, as the first place you notice the change is the very lower stomach area… just where your jeans fasten.
Is it normal to not feel movement at 17 weeks?
Yes. At 17 weeks pregnant, it is normal to not feel the baby move. If you have an anterior uterus, are overweight, or don’t quite know what you’re supposed to be feeling, it’s normal. Watch out for ‘bubbling’ feelings, or like someone is popping corn inside you.
What pain is normal at 17 weeks pregnant?
Back pain, round ligament pain, heartburn, sciatica, and general aches and pains are all very common at 17 weeks pregnant.
Can ultrasound tell gender at 17 weeks?
Maybe. While the sex organs have developed at about 16 weeks, the sonographer may not be able to see, depending on how the baby is positioned in the womb. They also may not be 100% sure and decline to tell you until the outcome is clearer.
What is the position of baby at 17 weeks pregnant?
At 17 weeks, your baby could be doing anything in there. It’s small enough to be in almost any position. The baby could be head up, head down, could be sideways—it doesn’t matter at this point. It’s also constantly changing positions, although it’s unlikely you’ll feel the full range of twists and turns.
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