Pregnancy week 17


How's the foetus during week 17?

  • Growth-spurt for baby
  • Your baby weighs about 140g and is about 13 - 15cm from crown to rump - the size of a turnip.
  • Your baby is going through a growth spurt this week and brown fat will deposit under the baby's skin. This fat will help your baby to regulate her temperature after the birth.
  • Blood circulation is now established and the umbilical cord lengthens and thickens in the response to the rapidly increasing needs of your baby.
  • The foetus and placenta are the same size, but the foetus weighs more. 
  • Your baby can suck, swallow and blink.
  • Meconium, your baby's first bowel movement is beginning to collect in the colon.

What's with my body: To a new jeans-size

Your uterus is rising between your navel and pubic bone and it is becoming clearly visible that you are pregnant. Pop goes your jeans button!

Your body may secrete more fluids such as sweat, nasal congestion and vaginal discharge as your blood volume increases. 

Take pride in your beautiful new body – never has it been more magical. A good work-out will help you keep in touch with what's going on inside you – and leave you feeling fabulous.

How your baby's growing:

Your baby is now nearly 12 - 13 cm long from crown to rump and weighs approximately 140 grams. Her skeleton is mostly rubbery cartilage, which will harden later. A protective substance called myelin slowly begins to wrap around the spinal cord. Your baby is now covered with a downy layer of lanugo, which swirls in fingerprint-like formation over her whole body. Her skin is still thin. Brown fat, a special type of fat that plays a role in body heat and energy generation, is being deposited.

The placenta is now a fully functional network of blood and tissue that distributes nutrients and removes waste.

How you may be feeling:

You may find that you have some backache, as your growing uterus puts pressure on your lower back. This has also shifted your center of gravity, making you feel a little strange and at times unbalanced. Make sure you wear flat, comfortable shoes. Regular exercise can help a lot.


You're showing and everything is blossoming – focus a little on how you're feeling – de-stress and enjoy your pregnancy, it will fly by faster than you think.

Make an appointment with a prenatal massage therapist and/or enroll in a prenatal yoga class to keep your growing body tuned and supple.

Tip of the week

Now is the time to tell your employer you're pregnant if you haven't already done so. Be ready with a plan for your maternity leave as well as ideas about who will cover for you during your absence.

Next: Pregnancy week 18

Previous: Pregnancy week 16

Go back to the complete list of Pregnancy week-by-week updates.

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 722 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 8504 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1016 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.