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Track Your Baby's Development Week By Week
Track Your Baby's Development Week By Week
..where little means a lot

Note: The length, weight and size mentioned below are only a guideline, as these vary from baby to baby and from one pregnancy to another.

What is going on with your baby during week 17?

  • From crown to rump your baby measures about 5-6 inches and weighs about 100g or 3.50z.
  • The fetus is the size of your hand spread wide open.
  • While still big, the head is beginning to look in proportion with the rest of her body.
  • Incredible changes are happening now: fat is beginning to form this week and will continue in the weeks that follow. Known as adipose tissue, fat helps to keep baby warm and gives her energy.
  • Her small heart is pumping 24 liters of blood a day.
  • Your baby can now hear sounds outside your body and she may even be startled by it.

Week 17 Fetus

Changes in you at this stage Week 17

  • You are showing more now.
  • Your uterus is about 2 inches (4-5cm) below your bellybutton.
  • Maternity clothing is a must for comfort sake.
  • The rest of your body is changing as well - a gain of 5-10 pound or 2.5-3.5 kg is normal.
  • The uterus now fills the pelvis and starts to grow into the abdomen.
  • Though your uterus doesn't float around, it is not attached to one spot either.
  • If you have had a previous pregnancy you may feel your baby's first movements.
  • The urge to pee frequently should have passed by now.
  • Expect to be more absentminded and forgetful now but according to research there is no link between pregnancy and your memory.

Good to Know in Week 17


  • Ultrasound tells us about baby's anatomy; it reveals the different structures in the brain and the heart.
  • Fluid can be evaluated to make sure there is sufficient quantity.
  • Placental details can be assessed.
  • Baby's growth can be monitored through ultrasounds in high risk pregnancies. Despite all the important information, ultrasound cannot determine or detect chromosomal or other abnormality invisible to the eye.

Estrogen & Progesterone

  • The uterus increases 1000 times in volume with a capacity of 5 liters, thanks to estrogen. In terms of weight it increases from a mere 45 grams to 480 grams. Where once it was the size of a pear it expands to the size of a fairly big sized pumpkin.
  • Progesterone is responsible for your increased sensitivity to CO2 and that causes you to feel out of breath more than before. When pregnant your body causes you to work hard to eliminate CO2 from your system thereby increasing the rate of respiration.

Leg cramps

  • Don't stand for long periods
  • Rest on your side whenever you can.
  • Using a heating pad on the affected area helps but do not use it longer than 15 minutes at a time.
  • Potassium helps; sources include raisins and bananas. Add this mineral to your diet before leg cramps get to you.

Eggs in the Ovary

  • In the 4th month of fetal growth, 6-7 million eggs have already developed in the ovaries of the female fetus (her lifetime production of eggs). Prior to her birth itself millions of eggs die. By puberty when she ovulates for the first time only about 2 million immature eggs remain and by the time she hits menopause her entire egg stock would have depleted.

Wholesome Advice in Week 17


  • Now that baby's sense of hearing is developing, it's a good idea to introduce her to your favorite tunes.
  • It makes sense to play music which your child can hear later on in the house or car instead of something you will only play while your fetus is still in the utero like classical tunes.


  • During pregnancy keep your sodium under 3g or 3000mg a day.
  • Too much sodium causes water retention, swelling and high BP which can become a problem for you.

Your actions can impact your baby's growth at this stage


  • Most doctors are against douching during pregnancy.
  • Using a douche can cause bleeding or even more serious problems such as air embolus which is a situation when air enters into your bloodstream from the pressure of the douche.
  • It is not common but it has serious consequences to it.
  • It is best to avoid douching altogether during your entire term.

Round Ligament Pain

  • Round ligaments are attached to each side of the upper uterus and to the pelvic side wall.
  • During pregnancy these ligaments are stretched and pulled and as such become longer and thicker.
  • Your movements can stretch and pull these ligaments causing pain and discomfort called round ligament pain.
  • It is indicative of a growing uterus.
  • The pain is on one side or both sides, or it may be worse on one side than the other.
  • The pain is not harmful to you or your baby in any way; it is just an uncomfortable feeling to bear with.
  • Lying down and resting will make you feel better.
  • Talk to your doctor if pain is unbearable or if any other symptoms arise such as vaginal bleeding, fluid loss from the vagina or severe pain.
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Common Concerns in in Week 17

Do all babies develop at the same rate in the womb?

  • No. In the early days and weeks development is more or less very similar but after week12 a lot of differences develop thus establishing that every baby is different. Your baby's growth and size depends on a host of factors such as genes, if he is your first baby, whether you have any medical concerns like preeclampsia, your diet and habits like drinking and smoking.

Is sex harmful to baby?

  • Your baby is adequately protected by amniotic fluid. When you have an orgasm, your uterus contracts and hardens as it usually does at other times. Your baby is aware of the change but that is all. However avoid sex if you have a history of miscarriages or premature labors, or bleeding.

Is there a way I can keep my weight under control during pregnancy?

  • You have to eat sensibly following a balanced nutritious diet everyday and exercising regularly. There is no short cut to it although it is a tricky time with cravings and a higher metabolic rate making you hungry more easily. What you eat now is going to affect your weight gain. A gradual weight gain will help you keep your weight under control.

Can my baby feel cold in the womb?

  • Your baby is protected by your body and the amniotic fluid which is a constant, temperature-controlled environment. Your baby who is kept at an even temperature of body warmth is unlikely to feel cold or hot.

If a woman gains a lot of weight, will the baby be large and as a result will delivery be harder?

  • Most likely not. The weight gained affects the mother directly and not the baby. Size of baby is determined largely by genetics, among other factors viz unhealthy lifestyle and habits. Keep in mind that overeating now will make losing weight harder post delivery.

Weekly Nutrition advice in Week 17

  • Is a vegetarian diet ideal during this condition is an important question for vegans especially. It can be if you watch closely the types and combinations of foods you eat.
  • Since meat is eliminated from your diet, you have to ensure sufficient calories are consumed to meet your energy needs.
  • Calories need to be the right kind derived from appropriate sources such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Empty calories have to be avoided since they have little or zero nutritional value to it.
  • Your goal is to eat sufficient protein to provide energy for the fetus and you.
  • Vitamins and minerals are another concern; by eating a wide variety of whole grains, dried beans and peas, dried fruits and wheat germ, you will be providing your body with iron, zinc and other trace minerals required.
  • You must find other sources of calcium, and vitamins B2, B12 and D. Seek your doctor's advice on supplements.

Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.

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