17 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms and What to Expect
Your Growing Fetus at 17 Weeks
Baby is about the size of a Troll doll without all that crazy colored hair. At 4.49 oz and 5.1” tall.
- This little fetus is developing sweat glands, putting on some muscle and a little baby fat!
- Cartilage is turning to bone in those arms and legs. Baby bones are still flexible for several years so this process continues even after you give birth as the bones harden and fuse. This is the source of “growing pains.”
- The umbilical cord that connects you to the baby is getting thicker and stronger which is great because your baby is starting to work hard on the skills he or she will be needing out in the world.
- These activities include practicing to breathe and working out the muscles and sinew that allow us to swallow and suck.
- That’s why babies know how to do these things right out of the womb.
Pregnancy Superfood for Week 17
Berries! Pretty much all of them! One of nature’s little miracles, berries are a perfectly packaged nutrition bomb of vitamins and phytochemicals that perform the all-important removal of free radicals.
These powerful little antioxidants are also anti-inflammatory and give you energy and a burst of flavor in every bite! Blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries, in particular, take extra good care of your cells with ellagic acid and anthocyanin’s and they have resveratrol, the thing that makes wine a healthy, anti-aging treat. Berries are also full of fiber, vitamin C, and folate and they’re also juicy and hydrating.
Adding berries to your meal or having them afterward as a dessert can reduce blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity which means a steady supply of energy from your meal instead of a quick boost than a need to nap.
The fiber in berries reduces the number of carbs you get from these fruits. Studies have shown that berries can also protect your cells from high blood sugar and they lower bad cholesterol so if you’re having trouble keeping those under control berries will be helpful.
Blueberry Mango Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing:
How to Prepare it: In a pan bring ½ cup quinoa and 1 cup water to boil. Reduce heat and cover; cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside.
Toss together ½ cup each:
- Mangoes (cubed)
- Cucumbers (cubed)
- Dried cranberries
- 1 ½ tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp Lemon zest
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- Finely chopped basil (10 leaves)
In a bowl whisk together oil and lemon juice/zest. Refrigerate. Add basil at the last minute. Mix half the dressing with quinoa and toss with fruits. Serve dressing on the side.
Top Tip for Week Seventeen
Recruit a “team” to help with physical work as your body changes make it less comfortable to carry things, move into a small space or clean in a tight space. You might not need them for a while but getting agreements early will make it so much easier to ask for help when you do.
Inspirational Message of the Week from Already Moms
“By far the most common craving among pregnant women is not to be pregnant.”
Big Efforts from your Co-Creator
Notice the glow. All that extra blood flowing through her body right now produces an incredible skin tone and color. Don’t be the only one who isn’t telling her how beautiful she is. Just look at her!
As she gains more and more weight and has to put away her favorite clothes she’ll need to hear that again and again. This is the mother of your child and she deserves to know that you can still see the beauty even when she can’t.
This Art of Allowing
If you’re not feeling baby kick already you soon will and you will know you are definitely on this ride and it’s not going to slow down. Like every major change in your life, it’s all theoretical until it’s not.
If you’re suddenly anxious or unsure allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling. Talk about it and you’ll find that you’re not the only person who ever felt this way. It’s part of the ride you’re on.
Pregnancy Symptoms of Week Seventeen
Quickening: your baby is moving! You might have been feeling it for a while now but it was just a peculiar sensation you thought was gas or a muscle twitch or hunger pangs. Did you feel ‘butterflies’ or a queasiness like fish swimming around inside your belly? By now you’re probably detecting a pattern and wondering if this is related to the baby. Yes. This is “the quickening”. Baby is announcing his or her presence with a kick or a backstroke. This is baby’s extraordinary introduction to you. Now you will have to respond with your own How Do You Do.
Braxton Hicks contractions: while baby practices kicks and sucking and breathing, your body is beginning a workout routine for the muscles you will use in giving birth. Braxton Hicks contractions are a practice run for labor. This is normal, good work that the body does to prepare itself for things to come but you may not even notice them yet.
Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and not painful though they can cause some discomfort. They feel less like a cramp than a ‘tightening.’ You’ll feel them in front of the uterus, higher in the belly than menstrual cramps. Occasionally you may have a stronger, painful contraction but as long as they are irregular and mostly painless its fine.
If you begin to have regular, strong contractions or they are growing in intensity or causing a lot of pain call your doctor immediately. Don’t panic but understand, this may require medical attention.
Melanin: this is nothing more than a natural pigmentation that produces color in the human body. It tans your skin, gives the iris of your eye and your hair their colors. The increased estrogen we experience during pregnancy causes excess melanin to be produced.
This sometimes shows up on your face in what is known as the Mask of Pregnancy. There is also a possibility you will develop a dark line right down the middle of your belly. This is known as the “linea nigra” meaning “black line.” It will fade by itself sometime after birth.
Bodily fluids: increased blood volume increases all your bodily fluids so don’t be surprised if you seem to have more sweat and mucus. You may also have more vaginal discharge. As long as it’s clear and there are no other symptoms related to any of these fluids you are fine.
Bizarre dreams: a lot of things trigger peculiar or wild dreams. Pregnancy is a big deal in your life and presages a huge change for you to face so it’s not at all surprising that some women have really strange dreams during this time. The last time you were this intimately connected to another human being was the time you spent in your own mother’s womb.
There may be something about exposure to the same type and amount of hormones that triggers memories of the developing brain and how your growing consciousness made sense of the experience. It may just be some increased anxiety about changes in your body, how you’re coping at work or what will happen in the future.
Pregnancy changes how you deal with everything from short-term goals to long-term commitments and the subconscious has to make sense out of all of this somehow. Dreams are a great place to work out anxiety and expectations. If the subconscious is the place where emotions meet imagination then dreams are the dance they do together.
Anything is possible here and it probably has more to do with the stress of getting laundry done or what you ate than anything else but, if you are interested in exploring these dreams there are qualified therapists that might be useful in exploring pregnancy anxieties and working through relationships that are troublesome right now. There is no shame in practicing good mental hygiene.
Itchy skin: when your skin stretches the sensation is often equated with itchiness. As it stretches it’s actually thinning and this causes increasing sensitivity. Your breasts are probably unrecognizably huge by now and your belly isn’t far behind. Since both of these will be continuing to stretch try not to scratch, it won’t help and thinner skin is easier to damage.
Stretch Marks: yah all that stretching could lead to stretch marks. As you gain weight and the uterus expands your skin is taking a beating. Hydration is really important to the skin, the largest organ in the body so drink LOTS of water.
There are some high-quality moisturizers made to battle stretch marks and if you have close female blood relations who recently dealt with this problem they may have some insight as to which products will work best for you.
This isn’t always the case since even sisters can have very different skin but there may be a trend in your family. Some of us need more fats in our diet like avocados and that could tell you what will work best on your skin. Also, never underestimate the power of a great diet!
Weight gain: From now on you’ll probably gain about 1 – 2 lbs a week. Sometimes you’ll notice it in your face or your arms, sometimes the belly and bra area. If it’s more than 2 lbs a week you should talk to your doctor as this can signal a problem.
Your Body will Change and It’s Necessary
The Bump will become a belly. You might feel like you waited a long time to start showing but from here on there will be no doubt that you are building a baby in your belly. You’ll be gaining one or two lbs a week on average, even if you’re having twins.
Sometimes it will seem like a lot and sometimes you won’t really notice until your belly seems to get to the checkout counter long before you do. It’s the most obvious sign of pregnancy and the most expected but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still surprising just how much you can stretch and just how big a baby really is when you’re carrying it around inside you.
There is no better place to grow a baby than in a womb so that’s where it is, right in front of you so you can keep an eye on this growing offspring. This is the work your body is doing. This is how it’s done. It’s all good.
Our Recommended Remedy for Week 17
There are lots of creams on the market for stretch marks but a little bit of coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer, add almond oil and it’s even more fragrant. Inexpensive, good to cook with and great for your hair, too.
Our Best Advice to Soothe The Uncomfortable
Hum. Humming any tune is good for your breathing and great for your body. Humming is a happy way to combat stress and sinus headaches. It’s a “good vibration.” Studies show it even helps you grow bone! Besides, the mental activity can help take your mind off anything that aches.
Preparation for Motherhood
- Start looking into baby cribs. Do you want a new one or have you been offered one? Pick the one that’s right for you.
- How about a rocking chair? There really is something soothing about rocking baby to sleep and if you get one early you can rock and hum and calm yourself whenever you need to.
- Mobiles are a wonderful part of nursery décor and an important part of baby’s visual development.
- There are so many available and some of them (some of the really cool ones) require a bit of thinking ahead. They hang over the crib so whether a crib will support it or if you’ll need to hang it from the ceiling could be an issue. Start looking now!
Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guides