Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 17th Week
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We have prepared a great article for you about the 17th week of pregnancy. We wish all mothers-to-be a pleasant reading.
Even though it seems like yesterday when you find out that you are pregnant, the weeks go by fast. Your baby continues to grow, develop and change at full speed. It is possible to notice this even from the reflection you see in the mirror. In your mind, “What?”, “How?”, “How much?” Hundreds of questions starting with … If you wish, let’s answer all the questions in your mind about what awaits you and your baby in the 17th week of pregnancy, without skipping any details.
Baby at 17th Week
While a week is not a very long time for us under normal conditions, it means a lot in pregnancy. That tiny fetus has come a long way since last week. Here’s what you need to know about the 17-week-old baby…
How Big Has My Baby got?
The zygote, which consists of a single cell upon fertilization, has been undergoing serial mitotic divisions for weeks, rapidly increasing the number of cells. This causes an increase in the weight and height of the 17-week-old baby. Your baby is almost the size of a pomegranate. The expected fetal length and mass table during the week it is in is as follows.
There are always individual differences in development, and these values do not necessarily have to be the same in every baby. In particular, the 1st and 2nd weeks of pregnancy are the time intervals when fertilization occurs, and in some women, fertilization occurred later than the average estimated time.
This naturally means that while the baby is 17 weeks old on record, in reality, it is slightly smaller. Therefore, if the height and mass values are slightly below the range, there is nothing to worry about. Here your reference should be whether the baby continues to grow in the coming weeks.
Development of Systems and Newly Acquired Skills
At the time of conception, your little offspring consisted of a single cell called a zygote. The zygote has split since fertilization, forming the 17-week-old baby. The number of cells will continue to increase rapidly during pregnancy. Cells will form tissues, tissues will form organs, organs will form systems, and all systems will form the organism, the baby. What about the organ and system development of the 17-week-old baby?
With the growth of the skull, the brain finds enough space for itself to grow and develop, and it continues to grow rapidly. With the development of the brain, the baby starts to respond to the stimuli in the body by establishing a connection between the brain and the external environment. As the spinal cord continues to develop, reflexes such as sucking and swallowing continue to develop in the baby. These reflexes are behaviors that are necessary for the feeding and survival of the baby after birth.
The circulatory system
The heart successfully performs its function of pumping blood into the vessels. It beats about 140-150 times per minute. It can pump 30-40 liters of blood per day at this pace.
The structures and organs that make up the digestive system were formed in the previous weeks, and this week continues to mature rapidly to perform their functions optimally.
Developing a swallowing reflex, the baby swallows the amniotic fluid and transmits it to the intestines through the digestive tract. As a result of swallowing and digesting urea, protein, lactic acid, citric acid-like substances in the amniotic fluid, waste begins to accumulate in the intestines. This waste, called meconium, will continue to accumulate until birth and will be the baby’s first poop after birth.
The respiratory system is the last system to complete its development, and even at the 17th week of pregnancy, she has started to practice working. The lungs enlarge and bronchioles begin to form in them. The lungs overflow with amniotic fluid instead of air. As a result, the chest now moves up and down to breathe.
Support and Movement System
Most of the skeletal system is still cartilaginous. The baby starts to accumulate calcium by taking advantage of the mother’s food, and when the mother’s nutrition is not enough, the mother’s reserves. This means that the cartilage structures gradually enter the ossification process.
As the muscles continue to develop, the organs they are attached to perform their functions more easily. With the development of facial muscles, the baby can now make different gestures, open and close his mouth, and move his eyes in their sockets.
A fetal scan shows the kidneys and the adrenal glands (adrenal glands) located above the kidneys. Structures in the kidney called the glomerulus, filter the blood to form fetal urine.
The external reproductive system organs in boys and girls are now sufficiently prominent. This immediately says, “Will the gender of the 17-week-old baby be known?” begs the question. The answer to this question for the next few weeks is a surprise. If the baby is in a suitable position without being shy during the ultrasound examination, your doctor can see the baby’s genitals and comment on whether it is a boy or a girl.
In girls, the vagina, fallopian tubes, and uterus begin to form. In males, the testicles are mature, but are still on the upper abdomen and have not descended into the scrotum.
From 14 weeks, the baby begins to develop defenses against foreign substances by producing dendritic cells. In the following weeks, the mother’s antibodies will pass to the baby through the placenta and strengthen the baby’s defense system.
Another baby’s immune system aid is vernix caseosa. This layer prevents the contact of the amniotic fluid with the skin and prevents the baby from getting any infection from the amniotic fluid through the skin.
17 Weeks Baby Movements
When the size of the baby is compared with the width of the placenta it is in, there is enough space for it to move freely. In other words, the baby does somersaults, turns, kicks… However, the 17-week-old baby movements are not yet as intense as you can feel. In the following weeks, movements will reach a palpable level with bone and muscle development.
Sense Organs and Developmental Characteristics in 17 Weeks Baby
The sense organs work under the control of the brain. Specialized receptors on the eyes, ears, skin, nose, and tongue; It receives stimuli such as sound, taste, temperature, pressure, light, smell and transmits them to the relevant part of the brain via nerves. The brain evaluates the stimulus it receives and creates a response and transmits it to the related sensory organ via nerves. For this reason, the 17th week of pregnancy is related to how much the brain has developed.
So, how much of your baby’s sense organ has developed in this process?
Eye and Sight
The eyes have not yet taken their place on the head. The eyes, which are far from each other, gradually begin to approach each other and come to the place where they should be on the face. The eye muscles are developed enough to move the eyes in their sockets. However, his eyelids still did not gain the ability to open and close.
Ear and Hearing
The auricle has formed and the ears are still not where they should be on the head. His hearing receptors continue to develop, but not yet enough to hear his mother’s voice.
Skin and the Sense of Touch
It continues to store fat in the lower layer of the skin. Over time, the transparent skin layer will become plump with the increase in the amount of oil and will form pink baby skin.
The fat layer, which continues to accumulate under the skin, will not only insulate the baby in the future but also will break these fat cells and allow the baby to obtain energy and heat. However, there are not enough savings to fulfill these functions yet. For this reason, the increase in the number of lanugo hairs will continue to help the baby’s body heat insulation.
Since the sensory receptors on the skin on the palms, genital area, and soles of the feet develop, the baby can perceive temperature, pressure, and similar tactile sensations in these areas.
Tongue and Taste
At the 17th week of pregnancy, the taste buds on the tongue can detect flavors in the amniotic fluid. If you are wondering what the taste of the amniotic fluid will be: pyruvic acid, lactic acid, creatinine, urea proteins, and the foods that the mother eats mix into this fluid and give it its taste. Every time the baby swallows the liquid, he or she now tastes these substances.
Nose and sense of smell
Along with the baby’s sense of taste, the sense of smell also develops. The baby smells as well as tastes the liquid that enters his mouth and nose.
Mother at 17th Week of Pregnancy
Giving birth to a new creature in the womb of a woman is not an event to be underestimated. While the baby is growing and developing rapidly, the 17-week pregnant is also affected physically and mentally by these changes. So what’s going on in your body? Let’s examine all the details about the mother at 17 weeks of pregnancy together.
With the weight gain of the expectant mother, her movements are restricted. If your weight gain is above the average, you may experience discomfort related to the respiratory, digestive, and circulatory systems as a result of the pressure on the internal organs.
Itching and crack formation on the skin surface:
Skin cracks that start with sweet itching and then appear as pink, yellow, tan, or purplish-toned lines will most likely be a lasting memory from these days. For this reason, it is useful to take precautions before the cracks occur, not after they occur. Anti-stretch creams recommended by your doctor will help you in this process.
Increase in body secretions and edema:
The increase in pregnancy hormones increases blood pressure and causes an increase in the number of body secretions. At the end of this, it is normal to experience an increase in secretions such as vaginal discharge, sweat, and mucus. The increase in secretion in the body also facilitates the collection of edema. For this reason, it is possible to see edema in pregnancy from the 17th week.
Pain in the lower back and legs:
As the baby grows and the mother gains weight, the load on the waist and legs increases. The increased load disrupts the body’s center of gravity and causes pain.
Heartburn and indigestion:
With the pregnancy hormones slowing down the muscle movements in the stomach and intestines, the digestion process also slows down. With the slowing down of digestion, the stomach is exposed to stomach acid for a longer time. All these cause heartburn and heartburn.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are based on 2 main causes. One is the enlargement of the uterus and the weight of the baby, resulting in pressure on the intestines. Another factor is constipation as a result of slowing down bowel movements with the effect of pregnancy hormones.
Breast enlargement and tenderness:
With increasing pregnancy hormones, the mammary glands are stimulated at 17 weeks of pregnancy. Thereupon, the milk ducts begin to produce milk, albeit a little. As a result of the accumulation of milk in the ducts, the breasts become swollen and tight. Stretched breasts become sensitive. In particular, the contact of the breasts with the clothes can disturb the expectant mother.
Tips to Minimize Troublesome Pregnancy Symptoms
You have finally come to the period when you can enjoy pregnancy. Because the 2nd trimester is a relatively easier period in terms of symptoms compared to the 1st and 3rd trimesters. However, some symptoms may still bother you. In order to minimize pregnancy symptoms, it will be useful to be careful about the following points.
- In order to relieve back and leg pain, you should pay attention to controlled weight gain.
- Controlled and slow weight gain reduces the formation of stretch marks by giving the skin the opportunity to stretch so that the body can expand. Keeping the skin moist with stretch marks or natural oils with herbal ingredients will also reduce the formation of permanent scars.
- Lying down whenever possible during the day, or even raising the legs with a pillow while lying down, reduces both lower back and leg pain and edema.
- You can minimize the complaints of reflux, heartburn, and indigestion by feeding at frequent intervals and little by little.
- The amount of calcium that the baby receives from the mother will increase with each passing day by the 17th week of pregnancy. In order not to lose your own reserves, you should consume foods rich in calcium.
How Much Weight Should You Gain?
While the baby is growing and developing rapidly, it is very normal for the mother to gain weight in this process. Well, if you are wondering how much weight can be gained at 17 weeks of pregnancy; You should gain about 2.5-4.5 kilos. However, in some pregnancies, symptoms such as nausea and loss of appetite in the expectant mother may be experienced a little more intensely, and weight gain may even cause weight loss, not the mother. In such a case, it is important that the process is kept under control and that the mother is gaining weight in the following weeks.
The baby is fed by taking the nutrients that the mother eats through the placenta. For this reason, nutrition at 17 weeks of pregnancy is important not only for the health of the mother but also for the health of the baby. Therefore, the following nutritional recommendations should be considered.
- You should consume calcium-rich foods to support the baby’s bone development and to minimize the mother’s tooth loss and skeletal system pain. Seeds such as poppy, sesame, almonds, and chia, and foods such as sardines, salmon, beans, and lentils can be good options.
- Drink plenty of water, not less than 2 liters a day.
- It should be made a habit to eat at frequent intervals and little by little. In this way, nutrition will minimize digestive system discomfort.
- Consume fibrous foods.
- Take care of a balanced diet. For this, you must make sure that you eat enough of each nutrient (protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin, mineral).
- Consume fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits.
- The biggest mistake made during pregnancy is to eat for two because I am two living things. It is sufficient to continue with the normal eating routine for the first 3 months and consume only 300-350 calories more per day after the 3rd month. This is approximately 2200-2900 calories per day.
In order for the systems that make up the body to work in the best way, sports and exercise should take place in every period of life. Possible options for 17 weeks of pregnancy exercises that you can do as your health allows within the knowledge of your doctor can be listed as follows.
- Light pace walking.
- Stretching exercises to strengthen the spine.
- Group exercises
Read more about Exercise during pregnancy.
17 Weeks Pregnancy Checklist
- If you have not yet had triple and quadruple screening tests that measure the possibility of genetic anomalies, you can have it done at the 17th week of pregnancy.
- Triple screening test 16-18 of pregnancy weeks and the 4-screen test is 16-22. These tests calculate the probability of genetic anomalies such as trisomy 18, trisomy 21, neural tube defect in the baby.
- If the results of triple and quadruple screening tests bother you and you want to be sure of your baby’s health, it is appropriate to have an amniocentesis at 17 weeks of pregnancy.
- Find out about what awaits you and your baby at week 18 of pregnancy. In this way, you know what awaits you in the new week and you will be prepared.
If you have learned the gender of your baby, you can already do a name search.
Giving birth to a healthy baby is the wish of every parent. The best thing you can do on this path will be to know all the details about the 17th week of pregnancy. In this way, both you and your relatives can manage the process in the best way.
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 1st and 2nd Weeks
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 3rd Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 4th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 5th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 6th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 7th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 8th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 9th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 10th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 11th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 12th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 13th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 14th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 15th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 16th Week
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