17 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
- Do some research on child care providers
- Eat a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of water to help prevent hemorrhoids
- Start your baby name list, if you haven’t already
Your Baby’s Development
At about 5.1 inches (13 cm) from crown to rump and weighing 4.9 ounces (140 grams), your baby is still very tiny.
Watch Your Baby GrowThe placenta, which nourishes the fetus with nutrients and oxygen and removes wastes, is growing to accommodate your baby. It now contains thousands of blood vessels that bring nutrients and oxygen from your body to your baby’s developing body.
You may notice that your breasts have changed considerably since your pregnancy began. Hormones are preparing your breasts for milk production — more blood is flowing to the breasts, and the glands that produce milk are growing in preparation for breastfeeding. This can increase your breast size (many women increase one to two cup sizes) and make veins become visible. Buy supportive bras in a few different sizes to manage your breast growth during pregnancy.
Pregnancy symptoms at 17 weeks
A dark line may be emerging down the centre of your belly. This is called the linea nigra, although not all pregnant women get it. It’s a harmless side-effect of pregnancy, and it usually fades after birth. It’s caused by pigmentation in your skin accumulating where your tummy muscles are being stretched.
You may have also noticed your nipples and the surrounding skin (areola) getting darker too. This is due to increased blood supply to your breasts. Once you have your baby, they may remain slightly darker than they were before you were pregnant.
Dark patches that appear on your neck, hands or face are called chloasma. Two thirds of mums-to-be will have chloasma during their pregnancy, so you’re not alone. It happens because your body is making more of the hormone melanin, which tans your skin to protect it against the sun. These patches, along with the linea nigra, will probably have faded by the time your baby’s about three months old.
What you need to know at 17 weeks pregnant
No matter how much you or your partner earn, your family finances will change once your baby arrives. Looking for easy ways to save money now gives you plenty of time to put away extra cash.
Try to cut down on your everyday expenses, such as food shopping, and look for ways to reduce your energy and water bills. And find out what benefits and tax credits the government offers, to help you with the cost of raising a family.