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17 weeks pregnant

What to expect this week

What's happening in week 17

17 weeks pregnant

At week 17 you might be starting to feel your growing baby moving about.

At a glance

  • Your baby now weighs around 150g
  • You might start to feel them wriggling around
  • Start pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your muscles

How big is my baby at 17 weeks?

Your little one is piling on the pounds now (well, not literally!) and is growing very quickly. They weigh around 150g and would fit in the palm of your hand.

Their little face looks entirely human, especially as their eyebrows and eyelashes have started to grow. Despite this, their eyelids are still fused shut, although they can move their eyes around.

Your baby’s heartbeat is now being regulated by the brain and whilst it might not be irregular, it’ll still be beating at between 140-150 beats per minute – that’s about twice as fast as yours!

Amazingly, your baby’s toes and fingers will form their own unique patterns this week as they develop the fingerprints that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

You at 17 weeks pregnant

You might be having 'is that wind or can I feel my baby moving?' dilemmas at 17 weeks. Some first-time mums will feel their baby wriggling around by about this stage (although for some it might come later). You will no doubt find your baby moving really exciting, and feel even more connection with them. So what will it feel like? Some mums-to-be describe it as bubbles in their tummy, or fluttering like a butterfly flying around. Rest assured as your baby grows, those lovely descriptions will be replaced with a simple 'like kicking' turn of phrase!

You are probably feeling a bit more energetic and less tired at this point, and keeping healthy and active are as important as ever. One 'work out' your midwife might have flagged up to you will pay you long term dividends – pelvic floor exercises! Strengthening these muscles (which hold your bladder, womb and lower bowel in place) now will help to keep them working efficiently after birth and hopefully avoid the embarrassment of stress incontinence should you find yourself bouncing on a trampoline or having an uncontrollable fit of laughter!

What to think about in week 17

Sometimes we can’t help but to just endlessly worry about stuff, and in pregnancy, worrying can almost become a totally all encompassing emotion! As each week passes, you might find yourself getting over one concern only to focus on another – it is totally normal, but can cause you a lot of stress if it becomes to overwhelming. 

Always speak to your midwife about your fears – some could be unique to you, but others will be things that play on the minds of all mums-to-be – your upcoming anomaly scan, for example, or anxieties about your delivery. Don't let worries spoil your pregnancy - do always seek reassurance (you will be taken seriously) if you have any thing playing on your mind.

By now you should generally be feeling a bit more energetic and be starting to enjoy your pregnancy. If you haven’t before now, you may well be feeling sex is back on the table, in fact you may even find your sex drive is higher than it’s been for a long time.

There is no reason you can’t enjoy an active sex life during your pregnancy, so don’t be put off by some myths surrounding sex during pregnancy. Sex isn’t linked with miscarriage and won’t bring on an early labour. In the final weeks it’s thought a combination of the prostaglandins in semen (which soften the cervix) and the hormone oxytocin (triggered by orgasm) may set off contractions, but it won’t cause premature labour.

There’s no need to fear your baby will feel something if you are having sex. The baby is far too cushioned in the womb to feel a thing. If your baby moves around when you orgasm, it’s only because they can hear your heart beating faster - just like it would if you were exercising.

Another thing that may be starting to enter your head is creating your baby’s nursery. Welcoming your new baby into your home is so exciting, and you’ll want everything to be perfect for them, especially the nursery. There are masses of ideas and design around for decorating the nursery, and there is a ton of inspiration out there to help you create the perfect nursery for your baby, whatever your budget. But if money is tight, don’t go overboard as the reality is that the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a room with you for the first six months.

At a glance

  • Your baby now weighs around 150g
  • You might start to feel them wriggling around
  • Start pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your muscles

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