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 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.
- Also see: Find a balance with prenatal yoga
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.