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Week 17

How Big is the Baby at 17 Weeks Pregnant?

Your baby is anywhere from 4.4 to 4.8 inches by pregnancy week 17 and weighs almost 3 ½ ounces! If you were to hold your baby at 17 weeks pregnant, she would fit snuggly in the palm of your hand. Your baby is about the size of a small pomegranate by pregnancy 17 weeks.

Your Baby's Growth and Development

Your baby during week 17 is now very mobile, gleefully moving his joints here, there and everywhere and will continue to do so as you continue your pregnancy week by week. The cartilage making up the skeleton in your baby's body is starting to transform into bone. At pregnancy 17 weeks time your baby should be hearing things. Your baby will start putting on some layers of fat in the weeks to come, though at this point in time your baby is made up of primarily water.

You may be feeling your baby move intermittently after pregnancy week 17, though as your pregnancy progresses you will likely start feeling your baby move more and more.

There are many natural health practitioners that believe in the power of touch. Though your little one is still very small, your touch may do much to help him feel safe and warm inside the womb. If you haven't started already, you might consider rubbing your 'pooch' in calming circular motions. This will not only help comfort your little one, but will help initiate the bonding process with you and your newborn baby throughout your pregnancy and after.

Other women find comfort when playing music to their unborn children. There is evidence suggesting that your baby responds to music even while in the womb. Thus, there is no harm in playing some calm and engaging music to your baby even while they are in the womb.

Your Growth and Development

At 17 weeks pregnant your uterus will start changing shape as your pregnancy progresses, to resemble a large egg instead of a round ball. It will gradually grow to inhabit most of your pelvis and abdomen. While this happens your organs, including your intestines get pushed to the sides. By this point in time you will likely be showing a little bit, though some women are still able to hide their pregnancies for many weeks to come.
By pregnancy at 17 weeks your uterus should now be about 1.5 to 2 inches below your bellybutton, so you should be showing a little in your lower abdomen

Changes in You

You are probably steadily gaining some weight by 17 weeks pregnant. Most women welcome the feel of their baby moving by this week in pregnancy, but movements are still fairly erratic and won't seem regular for a few more weeks.

You may be having more vaginal discharge now. Many women have more vaginal discharge during pregnancy. The increased vaginal discharge is referred to as leucorrhoea, it is odorless and a milky or clear color that is normal during pregnancy. Part of the reason you produce more is your body's increased estrogen production and more blood flow in the genital area.

You will actually notice even more vaginal discharge during the latter half of your pregnancy. Sometimes it is difficult to discern whether you are leaking discharge or amniotic fluid. Typically amniotic fluid will be more clear and abundant. If you are not certain if your discharge is normal, or if it is bloody at all you should contact your healthcare provider right away, as this might be a sign of pre-term labor.

The best thing to do in order to address excessive vaginal discharge is wear panty liners to absorb it. Tampons aren't safe to use. Avoid douching as well, as this can introduce air into the vagina, which may seriously complicate your pregnancy. Douching can also increase your risk of contracting vaginal infections or vaginitis.

If you are having discharge that is accompanied by itching or burning you might have a yeast infection. Foul smelling discharge may also be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection or other vaginal disorder. It is important that you contact your health care provider if you think you may be suffering from any of these conditions so you can acquire the appropriate treatment.
It is important if you work in a stressful environment that you start taking measures to reduce your stress level. Stress can have a devastating impact on pregnancy and childbirth.

There are actually some studies that suggest that stress can contribute to complications during pregnancy, including preterm labor. Some studies have also indicated that high levels of stress particularly between weeks 18 and 20 can result in higher levels of a hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone, which has been linked to preterm labor. This hormone may promote your body to release prostaglandins, which may result in contractions. Thus it is critical you do everything possible to limit your stress whenever possible.

Some stress simply can't be avoided. However there are many things you can do to cope with the ordinary stress that occurs in life during pregnancy. The most important things for you to do include taking care of yourself, resting as much as possible and taking the time to exercise when you can.
Remember that stress can also cause you to behave erratically, particularly during pregnancy. If you find yourself overly worried, talk to your healthcare provider. They might recommend some classes for you to take to help you cope with your situation. Prenatal yoga and meditation are two wonderful alternatives for dealing with stress during pregnancy. Be sure you also communicate your needs to your partner who can help you relax and address unnecessary stress during pregnancy.

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