You’ve reached the week 17 milestone of your pregnancy – your belly should be rather sizable by now. This is a particularly interesting milestone, as it is usually the time when friends and family members will want to touch and feel your belly. Whether you allow this to happen or not is entirely up to you. Some women love the extra attention while others dislike this notion.
What to Expect with Physiological Development
As for your baby, this is about the time when she will begin practicing sucking and swallowing. This is natural and necessary. After all, once your baby is born she’s no longer going to rely on the placenta to feed her; she’s going to either take to your breast or a bottle. She needs these skills later on.
You might not notice these, but fat stores are starting to develop under the baby’s skin. This will help provide energy and keep your baby warm after birth.
Your 17 Week’s Ultrasound
It’s great when you get a chance to see your baby moving on the ultrasound. Pay close attention to your baby’s mouth and hands. If you see your baby open and close her mouth or seem to swallow, such as dipping her head back, this may very well be part of her practice routine.
You may also notice your baby responding to some loud noises. Your baby may also be able to perceive light, even though her eyes are still closed.
Changes in You
One of the major changes that pregnant women experience around week 17 is that their friends, family members, and sometimes even coworkers and strangers may want to reach out and touch your belly. If this makes you uncomfortable, speak up. Be firm but gentle.
You may also notice an increase in vaginal discharge and a stronger sensitivity to certain allergens.
What You Should Be Doing
Your expanding and growing appetite can be a great relief, especially if you experienced a great deal of nausea during your first trimester. Just try to go slow and within moderation. You should be gaining about 1 pound every week, or 4 pounds per month, on average.
Ending Week 17
Your partner may begin complaining about your new snoring habit. This is due to increased stuffiness which is only temporary. It’s a byproduct of the pregnancy hormones and it will pass.