Pregnancy Week 17 – The Baby’s Progress

Doing some light, effective exercise around pregnancy week 17 will not only benefit you, but your baby too as you prepare your body for the impending birth. Exercising stimulates oxygen-rich blood flow and releases ‘feel-good’ hormones known as Endorphins. These are our own morphine like substances that make us feel extremely good and happy about ourselves and they also have a profound tranquillizing effect on your baby too that can last for up to eight hours.

Yoga during pregnancy

Every time you do some swimming, walking, light dancing or yoga during pregnancy, a surge of oxygen is released into your baby’s bloodstream that aids growth, tissue formation and brain function. Gentle stretching acts like yoga can also aid comfort and connection with your baby. By moving and getting in-tune with your body will also help you with your own self-awareness of yourself which will serve you well in times of labor. It will also help you to get your body back in to shape a lot quicker after the birth too.

Many practitioners are believing more and more in the power of touch so gently touching and doing gentle circular massaging around the lower part of your abdomen will be a very soothing experience for you both and will aid her feelings of contentment and bonding with you.

As your baby is now taking in the amniotic fluid orally and no longer absorbing it through the skin a lot of women question why their baby’s skin doesn’t become ‘water-logged’ from the fluid (like those wrinkly fingers you get when you stay in the bath too long). This will not happen as your baby’s skin (along with the lanugo) is now also covered in a natural thick, waxy coat of white cream called the Vernix.

This protective, waterproof layer of Vernix is held in place by the Lanugo (fine body hair). It also provides the baby with additional protection against infection and it is secreted from the sebaceous glands found under the skin (the same oil glands that can become clogged and lead to acne later in life). Later, in the third trimester, as the salts and minerals in the amniotic fluid begin to increase, it will also prevent these from being absorbed in through the baby’s skin. Evidence of this white, creamy Vernix will still be present on the baby’s skin at birth.

Pregnancy at 17 weeks will see your baby being able to yawn, showing even more of his miniature human skills as he progresses further in his rapid development. Your baby will now measure around 5″ (12.7 cm) head to heels and weigh roughly around 5 oz (142 g).

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(See 17 Weeks Pregnant – The Mother’s Progress)


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