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17 weeks pregnant

Katie de Klee
All you need to know at this pregnancy stage, what changes to expect, and some great tips for the week ahead.
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5 things to look forward to at 17 weeks pregnant:
1.     Your baby’s skeleton changing from cartilage to bone.
2.     Appearance of stretch marks.
3.     Centre of gravity shifting.
4.     Itchy skin.
5.     Fluttering movements in your womb.
How your life will change this week:
As your breasts and belly grow, your skin stretches and may feel itchy. You may also notice the appearance of stretch marks. If you gain weight at a steady rate the stretching will be less extreme, but it’s still a good idea to moisturise your belly with body oil or lotion every day to keep the stretch marksunder control.

You may start to feel tiny movements in your womb as your baby moves around, but these will feel much more pronounced in later weeks. Dreams can be affected by the hormones and may also be a sign of your anticipation – this is to be expected. You may also notice your centre of gravity shifting this week, as your belly grows, so you might feel a little off-balance. It’s probably a good idea to switch to flat shoes, if you’ve been wearing heels, and be aware that you might feel a bit unsteady on your feet.

Your baby’s development this week:
Your baby is now about as big as your palm. The rubbery cartilage that makes up your baby’s skeleton will start to harden into bone this week, and a protective substance is growing around your baby’s spinal chord. The umbilical chord, which provides everything your baby needs to grow, is also growing stronger and thicker. Your baby’s heart is now regulated by their brain, and beating at about 140 to 150 beats a minute – twice as fast as your heartbeat.

This week’s To Do list:
  • Start thinking about going to antenatal classes.
  • Keep taking photos so you can watch your bump growing.
  • Make sure you have a supportive chair at work and a firm mattress at home to ease back pain now and in the weeks to come.
If you have 5 minutes… Pregnancy top tip.
If you start snoring at night (blame the pregnancy hormones!) try putting a few pillows under your headto keep you elevated.

Curious about next week?  
Click here to find out what happens next week… And the week after.

Share your thoughts and concerns
Chat with other Moms-to-be in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums.

BabyGroup says:
This article has been checked by Dr Nomathamsanqa Matebese, Gynaecologist. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.

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