At 17th week of pregnancy, the baby grows to a size comparable to a pear! This article provides an overview on the fetal development, maternal changes, signs and symptoms and some interesting facts about 17th week of pregnancy.
Finally, at 17th week, the external ears of the baby are moved into their right positions.
Height of the baby: 5 inches
Weight of the baby: up to 5 ounces
What Happens to the Baby?
At this point of pregnancy, the baby’s cartilage is being replaced by hard bones. The umbilical cord which serves as the lifeline of the fetus is now growing thicker, lengthier and sturdier. During the 17th week, the sweat glands and body fats are also developing, and the skin of the baby remains slightly transparent. The blood vessels are visible, supplying and bringing nutrients to organs for growth. Moreover, the baby’s ears are fully formed, functional and are already in their right positions. Adipose fats continue to form and fill out the baby’s fine features which help regulate body’s temperature.
What Happens to Your Body?
Mothers at 17th week of pregnancy may start experiencing a change in gait and feeling off balance because their center of gravity changes. Thus, most mothers are cautioned for risk of falling. To avoid this, they should wear low-heeled or flat shoes and pass up wedges and high heels. In the same way, pregnant mothers should not forget to buckle up when driving (or travelling) in cars.
Meanwhile, most mothers notice their eyes are drier than usual. This is common in pregnancy and called as Dry Eye Syndrome. Hence, wearing contacts may be too discomforting for mothers. Try wearing them in a shorter period, instead. You might also consider wearing glasses until giving birth. On the positive note, pregnant mothers during the 17th week might observe that their nails are getting stronger as a result of hormonal changes. So, they look nice even without nail arts and polish!
Essential Nutrients @ 17 Weeks of Pregnancy
The most essential elements during pregnancy are protein and nutrients namely folic acid, iron and zinc. Make sure your nutrient requirements are met to support your health and your baby’s physiological needs. The table below enumerates the essential nutrients, what they do to the body and where to get them.
|Essential Nutrient||What It Does||Where to Get|
|Calcium||Formation and strengthening of baby’s bones.||Milk, yogurt, 2 slices of cheese|
|Folic acid or folate||The difference between folate and folic acid is that the former refers to the natural sources of the nutrient such as food while the latter is used when referring to folate used as dietary supplements.||Natural sources of folate are leafy and green vegetables. To prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida, it is recommended that mothers should take 400 mcgs of folic acid daily.|
|Iron||Iron carries oxygen to the baby’s internal organs to work and function properly.||Red meats. Smaller amounts of iron can also be found in green leafy vegetables, cereals and legumes. Note: For faster absorption, take iron alongside Vitamin C rich food sources.|
|Iodine||It is an essential nutrient for the development of the baby’s nervous system – brain and spinal cord.||Dairy products, bread, seafoods|
|Zinc||Zinc plays a role in protein synthesis and cell division. It also reduces the risk of preterm births.||Red meat, dairy products and fish|
|Protein||It is responsible for tissue synthesis and brain development of the baby.||Meat sources|
Additional Info: Is Home Birth a Safer Option?
The foremost reason why mothers opt for home birth than hospital delivery is because of the former’s cheaper cost. Home birth is natural and more relaxing. But, home birth can also turn into a disastrous option if things go wrong. Find out why.
Basically, home birth is a safe alternative for mothers who have history of healthy pregnancy and those with no underlying health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Hence, home birth is strictly for uncomplicated pregnancy cases. However, home birth is not for every mother. Mothers who have had C-section, twin pregnancies, macrosomal baby are not advised to deliver at home. Pre-term and post-term (delayed) mothers are likewise better off to deliver in hospitals. Study shows that babies who are delivered at home have weak pulses and poor skin color. The risk of death shortly after delivery is also higher, up to three times! It is then safe to say that the hospital option is safer since doctors can attend immediately whenever critical care is needed or complications arise.
If home birth remains your option, it is vital to obtain a licensed and experienced midwife.