pregnancy week 17

Pregnancy Guide: Week 17

Your baby is still sucking his thumb in preparation for learning to eat and self-soothe. Your baby’s ears are fully developed, and he can hear you now. He’s also building up his fat stores to provide energy and keep him warm after birth.

17 weeks pregnant is how many months?

At 17 weeks, you’re in your fourth month of pregnancy, and you’re close to halfway through. If you’re any good at math, you may be confused by now as to why 16 weeks wasn’t four months, or why at 17 weeks, you’re not already in your fifth month. 

To be honest, it depends on how you count it down. You’re considered ‘full-term’ anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks, which means your pregnancy could end up being quite a bit longer than 9 months, so hang in there.

Your Baby at 17 Weeks

Your baby’s brain is now helping to regulate heartbeat, so those beats are no longer as sporadic as they once were. It’s beating about two times faster than yours, and he’s practising his sucking and swallowing so he can eat when he arrives.

The thumb he’s putting in his mouth is now developing fingerprints. By the end of next week, he’ll have one-of-a-kind creases and swirls on the tip of each finger and toe, as if you needed further proof that your little bundle of joy is truly unique.

How big is a baby at 17 weeks?

At 17 weeks, your baby is about the size of an onion, and there will be a day when you think he’s as stinky as one, too. He’s 20.1 centimetres long and weighs 181 grams. He may also already make you cry like an onion, so it seems a fitting comparison.

Your Body at 17 Weeks

You are most likely starting to show, and you may have already experienced your friends, family, co-workers, or even complete strangers wanting to touch your swelling belly. Some women will go through their entire pregnancy never encountering this phenomenon, and other women will get belly rubs all the time. 

If it doesn’t bother you, that’s great. If you do mind, then speak up. Be kind, but firm.

You’re experiencing a vaginal discharge called leukorrhea now, and while it may be slightly annoying, it’s there to protect your birth canal and maintain healthy flora in your vagina, so let it be. Wear a panty liner if you must.

Greater sensitivity to allergens that you’ve never had before may suddenly rear its head, which is also annoying, but normal, as your body goes through plenty of changes. Sometimes babies have seasonal allergies which you may discover later on. You’re likely more willing to put up with this small aggravation than go back to your morning sickness days.

You’re hungrier now than you were a few weeks ago, and you may feel like you can’t eat enough food to fill you up. Your baby is getting bigger and hungrier, so taking cues from him will have you finishing off your food and your partner’s meal, too.

Eating this much will certainly cause you to gain weight, but if you talk to your doctor about gaining weight or losing weight during pregnancy, you can monitor the scale and make sure your fruit and vegetable intake is plentiful.

If your nose has been stuffy, your partner may notice a pregnancy symptom that he’s having trouble living with – your snoring. Don’t worry, it’s temporary. 

You can try to alleviate it by using a warm humidifier or a nasal strip. Use an extra pillow to prop up your head.

pregnancy week 17


If you just can’t satiate your appetite, listen to your body and eat when you feel hungry, but choose food that will fill you up. Lots of fibre, lean meat, fruits, and vegetables have the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs and can help keep you regular, too.

Most pregnancies come with stretch marks. They’re badges of honour, so wear them proudly. To reduce the appearance of stretch marks, make sure you’re staying healthy and gaining weight steadily rather than in big spurts. It can help with gradual stretching that’s less extreme in the end.

You have hormones, stress, fatigue, and hunger that are contributing to your headaches, but it’s usually fine to take some acetaminophen to help with the pain. Check with your doctor if the headaches become unbearable.

All these same symptoms can also contribute to dizziness. Make sure you eat when you’re hungry, drink plenty of water, get the rest you need, and stay healthy. Your balance will only get worse as you grow, so be careful with this pregnancy symptom.

By now you may have excruciating backaches and wonder why, considering that your belly isn’t even that big yet. There are a lot of things in there encroaching on your space, putting pressure where you’re not accustomed to it, and making you feel otherwise uncomfortable. Get a supportive chair and a firm mattress to help.

Tips/Things to do

Add stretching to your daily exercise routine if you haven’t already. It can help prevent sciatica. This sharp pain or numbness in your back, buttocks, and legs can add to your discomfort during pregnancy, so make sure you drink plenty of water, stretch, and use a heating pad for relief.

Pay attention to any changes in your teeth, because pregnancy hormones can affect the ligaments in your mouth, causing loose teeth. It’s important to see a dentist if you have periodontitis, but these abnormalities will stop after you have the baby.

Wear sunscreen if you go outside these days. Pregnancy hormones can cause all kinds of weird skin spots, skin tags, darkening lines, growing moles, and heat rash. Sun makes these complications worse, so be sure to protect yourself now and talk with your doctor about them at the next visit if you have concerns.

Do yoga for your back pain. It’s the best thing to help you stretch it out and loosen your spine. This releases the tension your back feels from straining to carry all that extra weight. Yoga can also boost your energy level and improve your mood, making it easier to manage your symptoms.

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