17 Weeks

By the time you are 17 weeks pregnant your baby will now be almost the same size as your placenta and your abdomen will start to look a little egg-shaped. Your midwife will begin measuring the size of your belly, referred to as the ‘fundal height’ which should, by now, be a little noticeable as it is about 1.5” below your belly button. This measurement will usually correlate with the number of weeks pregnant you are and is another way of ensuring that the baby is growing healthily. The ‘fundal height’ is defined as the distance between the top of your uterus down to your pubic bone.


Pregnancy 17 Weeks – The Fundal Height Measurement

As you continue to increase in size, your abdominal muscles on both sides will begin to loosen and stretch to accommodate your bulge. Later in pregnancy, you may feel the occasional sharp twinge of shooting pain when you change position too quickly. This can be a little alarming at first but it is completely normal and is known as ’round ligament pain’. The round ligament stretches all the way around your uterus and is stretched further as your bulge expands which can result in this sudden surge of unexpected pain. If you are unsure about any abdominal pain that you are experiencing, then contact your GP for advice.

Other side effects caused by relaxed muscles is heartburn that you may still be experiencing at 17 weeks pregnant and probably for the duration of your entire pregnancy, is heartburn. Pregnancy hormones, such as progesterone, will relaxes the muscles that would normally prevent unpleasant stomach acids from leaking back up through to the esophagus. There are a few natural remedies for heartburn that may be worth considering to help alleviate the symptoms of this pesky ailment.

Diarrhea is another pregnancy ailment that can strike at any time throughout your pregnancy due to the changes in your digestive system. If you find that you are suffering from bouts of this then it’s essential to replenish your body’s water loss by increasing your fluid intake. It is recommended that a pregnant women drink between 48-64 fluid ounces/day which equates to roughly 6-8 glasses/day. This doesn’t have to only be water, it can also include juices and believe it or not, tea and coffee, however water should always be your first choice (flavored with lemon if you don’t like the taste).

It has been debated in the past as to whether coffee should be included in your daily intake as it is considered as a diuretic (which makes you urinate more) and too much caffeine is not advised anyway, however, your body will still process it as a fluid. Stick to water as much as you can as this also helps to dilute your urine, preventing any chance of you developing a urinary tract infection.
Average weight gain by the time you are 17 weeks pregnant is approximately 1-2kg.

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(See Pregnancy Week 17 – The Baby’s Development)

STAGES OF PREGNANCY DEVELOPMENT

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