17 Weeks Pregnant: Fetal Movement and Body Changes

Pregnant women often wonder what changes are happening to their baby and body during each week of pregnancy. It's essential to understand the regular changes that occur while a fetus is developing, including during week 17. During this period, significant milestones in your baby's development will be achieved, and you may observe signs of movement or even begin feeling them yourself! Your body will also enter a new phase as it prepares for childbirth. To fully understand how these transitions take effect during one of the most crucial times in your pregnancy, read on for what you should know about Week 17!

17 Weeks Pregnant and Your Baby’s Development

At 17 weeks, your growing baby is making some impressive advancements. With every passing day, their tiny body is changing and developing in ways that will set the stage for their entire life. Every day, from the hardening of your baby's bones to the formation of their sweat glands, is a new adventure in fetal development. And let's not forget about the fantastic work that the umbilical cord is doing to ensure your baby gets all the nutrients and oxygen they need to thrive. It's truly amazing to think about all the intricate processes inside your body right now.

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Your Ultrasound at 17 Weeks

Pregnancy brings a world of excitement, joy, and numerous other feelings. But it also comes with a bundle of necessary tests, especially during the 16-20 weeks. These tests fall into two categories: screening and diagnostic. While both are important in their way, there is a crucial difference between them. Screening tests give a certain level of assurance about the risk factor of a particular condition. Diagnostic tests, on the other hand, give you a more precise and definitive answer. These tests during pregnancy are essential to ensure the baby's health and monitor for any potential concerns. However, some diagnostic tests have risks, such as amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, or cordocentesis, which may make some parents-to-be hesitant to undergo them. Nevertheless, if a screening test suggests an issue or if there's a family history of a genetic condition, diagnostic testing can provide valuable information.

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Your Baby’s Movement at 17 Weeks Pregnant

As your baby grows inside you, you might start to feel more and more movement. This is an exciting time because it means your little one is becoming more active and even doing flips! While you'll likely feel these more prominent movements, your baby is also practicing other skills you might not pick up on. Specifically, they're learning to suck and swallow in preparation for feeding once they're born. Some babies even start sucking their thumbs while still in the womb! Additionally, you might start to feel what's known as "quickening," which can feel like gas or nausea at first but is your baby's little movements. Enjoy these special moments of connection with your developing child.

Pregnant woman holding stomach

17 Weeks Pregnant and Your Body

Morning Sickness

Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a woman's life. Unfortunately, morning sickness can damper all those blissful pregnancy moments. Typically, by the 17th week, the unpleasant symptoms have subsided for most women. However, for some unlucky few, nausea continues to plague them, leaving them feeling helpless and miserable. If you are one of those women, it's essential to know that you're not alone and help is available. If you're experiencing persistent nausea, don't hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider. Remember, severe morning sickness can lead to dehydration and other complications, and prevention is always better than cure.

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Round Ligament Pain

As your body adjusts to accommodate your growing baby, you might feel some discomfort in your belly. This discomfort, known as round ligament pain, is an entirely normal part of the second trimester of pregnancy. While it may be uncomfortable, it will likely come and go. If you're experiencing this, it's essential to take it easy and rest when necessary. A belly band can also provide some relief, giving you the support you need while you carry your little one to term. Remember to take care of yourself throughout this incredible journey, mama.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

Pregnancy is a series of new and exciting experiences, and Braxton Hicks contractions are one of them. You might start to notice these contractions happening as early as week 17. Although they're usually painless, they can feel like a tightness or squeezing sensation in your abdomen. As your body prepares for labor, Braxton Hicks contractions help to strengthen the muscles in your uterus. But beware, they can be more intense for some women and mimic the feeling of actual labor. If you notice that they're happening frequently or become persistent, it's essential to contact your healthcare provider. Don't worry too much, though. Braxton Hicks contractions are normal in pregnancy and usually don't signal any issues. So take a deep breath and let your body prepare for the miracle of childbirth.

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Pregnant woman resting

Stretch Marks

As your body changes and your baby grows, your skin stretches to accommodate the growing bundle of joy. But with that stretching may come to the appearance of stretch marks. While they are a regular and common occurrence, they can still be a frustrating and embarrassing part of pregnancy for many women. Unfortunately, there isn't anything you can do to prevent them. Factors like skin type, heredity, and weight gain have more to do with stretch marks than any cream or lotion. But don't despair - with patience and self-care, those dark marks will fade over time.

What To Expect at 17 Weeks Pregnant

Week 17 marks the beginning of many changes for you and your baby. You may feel more movement from your little one, many different moments that make parenting so rewarding. As your little one grows and develops within your womb, stay up to date with regular checkups, stay active, and eat a nutrient-rich diet. As the weeks go on, time will pass quickly until you'll finally welcome your bundle of joy into the world. All of this brings excitement but can also be nerve-racking at times - especially if you're a first-time mom. So take care of yourself and trust your body's capabilities during this lovely pregnancy journey!

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