17 week of pregnancy falls in the middle of the second trimester. At this time, many women can already feel the first tentative movements of the fetus and fully experience the joy of the upcoming motherhood. What is another significant week 17 for the future mother?
Baby grows, every day gaining weight and height. The length of the body of the fetus at 17 obstetric weeks is 12 cm, and the body weight reaches 70-90 g. In this period, the gradual ossification of the skeleton begins and the replacement of soft cartilage tissue by dense bone. All the muscles, ligaments and joints of the fetus are already developed, which allows the baby to actively move in the womb.
The formation of fetal subcutaneous fat continues. Now its share is hardly 1% of the total body mass, so the baby’s skin appears red due to translucent blood vessels, and its entire surface is covered with thin delicate hairs – lanugo.
At 17 weeks, the active development of the organ of hearing. The external auditory canal is already formed, and now the formation of the auditory ossicles of the middle ear continues. Every day the baby will be more and more clearly perceive sounds coming from outside. Already now, too loud sounds scare the child, while a calm melody pleases. Among all the sounds, the baby is especially good at distinguishing the voices of the parents and their immediate surroundings.
The eyes of the baby at week 17 remain closed. The optic nerve and all the basic structures are already formed, and in this period the child can distinguish light from darkness. If the source of a very bright light is directed to the future mother’s belly, the baby will definitely turn his head in his direction.
Condition of a woman
Most women do not complain of being in the middle of the second trimester. A growing tummy does not interfere with active life, while habitual toxicosis gives up its position. 17 week of pregnancy is a good time to pay attention to yourself and your health. At this time, experts recommend doing yoga or special gymnastics, sign up for a pool, or just spend as much time outdoors as possible. Moderate physical activity – a guarantee of good health throughout pregnancy and easy delivery in due time.
After 17 weeks of obstetric pregnancy, weight gain is 3.5-4.5 kg. The uterus is located in the middle of the distance between the lap and the navel, and the tummy is just beginning to emerge under the clothes. Meanwhile, the pressure of the grown-up baby on the muscles and ligaments of the pelvis is becoming more noticeable. Many women during this period note the appearance of such unpleasant feelings:
- pain in the area of the pubic arch;
- pain and discomfort in the groin;
- perineal pain;
- feeling of fullness and heaviness in the projection of the pelvic bones.
Why do discomfort arise? The fact is that when carrying a child, the muscles and ligaments of the pelvis gradually stretch. Such a mechanism is provided by nature not only for a comfortable pregnancy, but also for the safe flow of labor. Sprains are felt as moderate soreness and discomfort in the pelvis and perineum. The less active was the lifestyle of a woman before pregnancy, the more unpleasant the sensations will be when carrying a child.
At the 17th obstetric week, multiparous women may experience the first movements of the fetus. In the case of the first pregnancy, this usually occurs somewhat later. At first it will be completely weightless touches of small arms and legs. Over time, the baby will begin to move more and more actively, and soon his every movement will be perceived quite clearly.
What if the baby does not make itself known? Do not worry, listen to your feelings and calmly wait. First of all, it concerns women who are preparing to become a mother for the first time, but during repeated pregnancy there may be reasons why fetal movements are felt later. This is possible in the following cases:
excess weight and a pronounced layer of fatty tissue on the abdomen;
the location of the placenta on the anterior wall of the uterus;
incorrect definition of the terms of pregnancy.
In all these situations, you should wait another 2 weeks before drawing any conclusions. If you have any doubts, you can seek help from a doctor and undergo an ultrasound examination.
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