Welcome to Scary Mommy’s pregnancy week by week guide! We’re here to give you all the info about what to expect when you’re expecting: be it week by week symptoms, your baby’s development, your changing body, or ultrasounds and appointments. Here’s everything you need to know about week 17.
Your Body at Week 17 Pregnant
Pregnancy Glow and Cravings, Baby!
At this stage in your pregnancy, you are enjoying your nausea-free days, no longer hiding that you’re expecting, and (moderately) indulging in your cravings. In other words, the second trimester is in full swing. A surge in blood volume and newly oily skin is giving you that pregnancy glow you’ve heard about.
Your weight gain right now should be about 1 to 2 pounds a week, and your energy levels are so much higher than they were just a few weeks ago. This is the perfect time to engage in moderate physical activity, prepare your home for the baby, and if it’s your first baby, enjoy long naps on the weekends. It’s a luxury you’ll miss in just a few short months.
Congestion in the Morning, Congestion in the Evening, Congestion all the Time
Swelling of blood vessels in your nose might leave you feeling congested, and should go away on its own. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, you might have pregnancy rhinitis and should discuss remedies with your doctor before you turn to any over-the-counter drugs. Rhinitis usually goes away shortly after birth.
Your Baby at Week 17 Pregnant
At 17 weeks your sweet little baby is the size of a taco, or nearly 5 ounces and 5 inches long. Your little one is covered in fine hair called lanugo that will keep them warm more body fat develops. This is also the time sweat glands begin to form and the umbilical cord thickens and lengthens.
Practice Sucking, Swallowing, and Breathing
Your little one is doing a lot of prep for all those midnight feeds by practicing sucking, swallowing, and breathing. They’re swallowing and expelling amniotic fluid and some are even sucking their thumb. The ears are fully formed now and ready to jam along to mom’s favorite tunes. They might even dance along and give you a few kicks as some women start to feel their baby’s movement as early as this week.
Your Symptoms and Health at Week 17 Pregnant
Headaches and Migraines
While you should never shrug off pain and discomfort, the increase in blood volume results in pregnancy headaches and migraines for some women. This symptom is usually caused by dehydration, posture, caffeine withdrawal, and blood flow and you should consult your OB if they persist and before you take any medication.
Contact your doctor right away if you are experiencing severe headaches during pregnancy, especially your third trimester, since it might be connected to high blood pressure and a sign of preeclampsia.
Bloating & Constipation
A rise in hormones can cause your digestive system to slow down leaving you feeling bloated and constipated. Staying hydrated, engaging in moderate exercise, and eating a fiber-rich diet might ease the discomfort and keep hemorrhoids at bay.
As pregnancy hormones relax your joints and ligaments in preparation for birth, they also do the same for the rest of your body. Throw in a new weight distribution that throws off your balance and the results will have you feeling like klutz. Be extra careful, aware, and alert as you go about your day, especially in icy and wet conditions.
Linea nigra, or the dark vertical line that appears on pregnant bellies, is a very common symptom many women develop in their second trimester. An increase in hormones tends to darken the skin for some women, causing the linea alba, an unnoticeable white line that was always there, to darken. The linea nigra is completely harmless and will fade away once the baby comes.
Lingering Morning Sickness
While it’s true that morning sickness usually subsides between 12 and 14 weeks of pregnancy, some women experience symptoms of nausea way into their second trimester. If you are experiencing severe morning sickness, make sure to contact your doctor as it might be hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness that often leads to dehydration.
By now, you’re probably starting to notice the weight gain doctors have been hoping for you. If you haven’t yet fully transitioned into your maternity wardrobe, now might just be the time. As your twins grow, so does your need for comfort. Not only do you have two expanding humans in your uterus, you more than likely have the constipation and bloating described above. Time to make like Joey Tribbiani a la thanksgiving dinner.
You might also feel some movements from your two little ones this week, yay!
The contents of this article have been medically reviewed by Ruth A. Tessler, M.D. in July, 2019.
Written by Maia Efrem.
Follow Preggo Nancy’s pregnancy journey week-by-week and share in her joy, her symptoms, and even her pregnancy cravings.