Pregnancy Week 17: Your Weekly Pregnancy Guide

At 17 weeks pregnant your baby is learning to suck and swallow.

All of a sudden pregnancy week 17 is here and, along with it, you’re almost through the fourth month of pregnancy. Big changes continue for your baby (and your belly) this week.

Pregnancy Week 17 Guide

In this week’s guide, we’ll take a look at your little one’s growth, check in on some second trimester symptoms you may be experiencing, and look ahead to baby’s birthday.

Baby’s Development at 17 Weeks Pregnant

Your little one is continuing to grow and grow. Since pregnancy week 16, she’s packed on another 1.5 ounces as well as another half-inch. Baby currently weighs 5 oz and is about 5 inches long. This is approximately the size of a turnip, pear, or pomegranate.

New this week, your baby’s beginning to form body fat. While still skinny, the development of extra fat stores will be essential in the first days following baby’s birth.

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In addition, baby’s skeleton is continuing to harden from cartilage to bone. If you were to have an ultrasound this week, you could see each individual bone, even the tiny ones in baby’s fingers.

An ultrasound may even give you a glimpse of baby sucking his thumb. This week baby continues learning to suck (as well as swallow) in preparation for being able to drink after birth.

How Your Body is Changing at 16 Weeks Pregnant

All of a sudden you may find your belly is definitely poking out. While it’s still possible to disguise with the right clothing, those close to you will begin to see visual confirmation of your new family member. Furthermore, by pregnancy week 17, you could be gaining about a pound a week.

Pregnancy week 17 brings with it a continuation of several (relatively) minor symptoms common to the second trimester. These include:

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  • Round Ligament Pain
  • Feeling Unsteady or Off-Balance
  • Increased Fluids and Discharge
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Vivid Dreams

While none of these symptoms should cause concern, if you find yourself with specific questions or becoming highly uncomfortable make sure to chat with your doctor; they have experience with all types of symptoms and will be able to help ease your discomfort.

Taking Childbirth Classes in the Second Trimester

Pregnancy week 17 is the perfect time to begin looking at (and signing up for) childbirth classes. It doesn’t matter if you have a good idea of how you want to give birth or if you’ve never thought about it. Childbirth classes are a great way to learn all types of information. This includes:

  • The Stages of Labor
  • Breathing Techniques
  • Pain Management Options
  • Possible Complications
  • How to Breastfeed

Childbirth classes may also include a tour of your local hospital or birthing center. Having familiarity with where you’re headed when the big day arrives can provide a sense of calm. This becomes a relief when you’re in the midst of painful contractions (and your partner is feeling time pressure).

While childbirth classes can seem silly (or even embarrassing) at times, my husband and I found ourselves enjoying the chance to spend time together before our family dynamics changed.

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A Dad’s Perspective on Pregnancy Week 17

Childbirth class was a blast. I went into it expecting to learn how to breathe (as if I didn’t know already), but found myself getting tips on how to interpret contraction times as a birthing coach, important things NOT to say to your wife who is in labor, and tips on bottle feeding. Yes, there was plenty of awkward discussion about breastfeeding techniques, but it was fun to laugh along with my wife.

After our baby was born, I found I could actually be a helpful outside perspective when we were working through nursing frustrations and running on little sleep. All in all, I’d recommend going to the class. There are far worse ways to spend a couple hours with your partner!

Pregnancy Week 17 Follow-Up

This week I’ve really felt as though I’m back to normal. What few pregnancy symptoms I have are so minor they seem virtually unimportant and my excitement about this new little life (our sixth baby) is building and growing. Come alongside my husband and I as we journey through our current pregnancy with baby number six.

Jess Wartinger

Jess Wartinger

Jess Wartinger resides in rural New York with her husband and five children. Formerly an early elementary teacher, Jess currently spends her time loving her kids and holding down the fort at home.

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