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Your pregnancy at Week 17

Highlights: #

Your Baby at Week 17 #

Getting ready to feed
Your baby is practicing sucking and swallowing in preparation for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.

Baby will soon be able to hear you!
Your baby's sense of hearing is making significant progress, and they are starting to be able to hear your voice.

Warming up
Fat stores are developing under your baby's skin, providing energy and helping them stay warm after birth.

Fingerprints are forming
Within the next week or so, the pads on your baby's fingertips and toes will develop completely individual swirls and creases, also known as fingerprints.

Your Body at Week 17 #

Here come the tummy touchers!
As you start showing, friends, coworkers, and strangers may want to touch your tummy. If you're uncomfortable with it, kindly but firmly communicate your boundaries.

Your growing appetite
In the second trimester, morning sickness often subsides, and your appetite may increase as your baby grows and requires more nourishment. Listen to your hunger signals and choose nutritious foods.

Stop snoring
Pregnancy hormones can cause stuffiness and snoring. Consider using a humidifier, nasal strips, or sleeping with your head elevated to improve your sleep quality.

Heightened symptoms
You may experience increased vaginal discharge (leukorrhea) and greater sensitivity to allergens, both of which are normal during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 17 #

Increased appetite
Your growing baby's demand for nourishment may lead to an insatiable appetite. Choose high-fiber grains, produce, and lean protein to meet your nutrient needs.

Stretch marks
Stretch marks are hereditary and can occur as your body changes during pregnancy. Gaining weight at a steady rate can help reduce the severity of stretching.

Occasional headaches
Headaches can result from various factors during pregnancy, and it's generally safe to take acetaminophen to alleviate the pain, but consult your practitioner first.

Faintness or dizziness
Dehydration can cause dizziness, so stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.

Heartburn and indigestion
Avoid lying down after eating to keep gastric juices in the stomach where they belong and reduce heartburn and indigestion.

Ensure you have a supportive chair at work and a firm mattress at home to ease backaches during pregnancy.

Things to Take Care in Week 17 #

Breast growth (and no breast growth) are both normal
Hormones and milk-producing glands are developing for nursing, leading to breast growth. However, not all women experience noticeable changes in breast size during pregnancy.

Stretch to prevent sciatica
Sciatica, sharp pain or tingling radiating down the legs, can occur due to nerve compression. Try heating pads or back stretches to ease the pain.

Time for the Tooth Fairy again?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the gums and ligaments, potentially leading to slightly looser teeth. Maintain good oral hygiene and see your dentist if needed.

Ease round ligament pain
Your uterus is supported by ligaments that stretch as your bump grows, causing lower abdominal pain. Spend time off your feet and consider wearing a belly band for extra support.

Stay out of the sun
Hormones and sun exposure can lead to skin changes during pregnancy. Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors.

Check your hands
Palmar erythema, redder or darker palms of the hands, can occur during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. It typically resolves after childbirth but consult your doctor to ensure everything is normal.

Try non-dairy, calcium foods
If you don't consume dairy products, consider calcium-fortified juices, leafy greens, sesame seeds, almonds, and calcium-fortified soy products as alternative sources of calcium. Ask your practitioner about calcium supplements if needed.

FAQs #

Question: Is breast growth during pregnancy normal?
Answer: Yes, hormones and milk-producing glands are developing for nursing, leading to breast growth, but not all women may experience noticeable changes.

Question: Can I take acetaminophen for headaches during pregnancy?
Answer: Yes, it's usually safe to take acetaminophen during pregnancy for headache relief, but always consult your practitioner first.

Question: Why do I experience dizziness during pregnancy?
Answer: Dizziness during pregnancy can be attributed to hormones, a growing uterus, and an expanding circulatory system. Stay hydrated to help prevent dizziness.

Question: How can I prevent or ease backaches during pregnancy?
Answer: Ensure you have a supportive chair at work, a firm mattress at home, and consider using a cushion for extra back support.

Question: Are skin changes normal during pregnancy?
Answer: Yes, skin changes, including darkening moles, heat rashes, and skin tags, are common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Use sunscreen and seek your doctor's advice if concerned.