17 Weeks Pregnant—Everything You Need To Know For Bub & Mom-To-Be

17 Weeks Pregnant

At 17 weeks pregnant, you’re well into your second trimester. 

Your early pregnancy symptoms should be easing up by now, but it’s also normal if they persist. Your baby has been making significant strides in their growth and development, now weighing around 5 ounces. 

In this article, we’ll talk you through all you need to know about being 17 weeks pregnant to put your mind at ease.

Your baby’s development at 17 weeks pregnant

At 17 weeks pregnant, your baby measures about 4.7 inches, or around 12 cm (about the size of a pomegranate), and weighs around 5 ounces. 

Here are some key developments your baby may be experiencing at this stage:

1. Developing fat stores: Your baby is starting to develop fat stores that will help regulate their body temperature after birth.

2. Growing hair and nails: Your baby’s skin and nails are starting to grow.

3. Developing a strong heartbeat: Your baby’s heart is now strong enough to be heard with a fetal doppler.

4. Developing reflexes: Your baby is developing reflexes like sucking and swallowing.

5. Developing taste buds: Your baby is starting to develop taste buds, which will help them develop preferences for certain foods.

6. Growing stronger muscles: Your baby’s muscles are getting stronger, and they can move their arms and legs more purposefully.

7. Developing the respiratory system: Your baby’s respiratory system continues to develop, including surfactant production, which helps the lungs expand and contract.

8. Developing the nervous system: Your baby’s nervous system continues to develop, including the formation of neurons and synapses.

9. Developing the digestive system: Your baby’s digestive system continues to develop, including the production of meconium, the first stool your baby will pass after birth.

Remember, every baby develops at their own pace, and these are general milestones that your baby may be experiencing at 17 weeks pregnant.

Your healthcare provider can provide more information about your baby’s specific development and growth.

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Pregnancy symptoms at week 17

Below you’ll find some helpful explanations and solutions for the pregnancy symptoms at 17 weeks. 

Understanding the nature of and ways of dealing with these symptoms won’t make them go away, but it will make putting up with them much easier!

1. Increased appetite

You may feel hungrier than usual as your baby grows and your body requires more nutrients. Eating frequent small meals and snacks throughout the day can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent nausea.

2. Weight gain

It’s normal to gain weight during pregnancy, but it’s essential to do so healthily. You can promote healthy weight gain by eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. 

Understand that your growing belly houses your growing baby, so some weight gain is necessary.

3. Fatigue

Your body is working hard to grow your baby, which can tire you. Getting enough rest and sleep, staying hydrated, and eating a balanced diet can help combat fatigue.

4. Nausea or morning sickness

While morning sickness can happen at any time of day, it typically goes away after the first trimester. Eating small, frequent meals and avoiding triggers like strong smells can help alleviate nausea.

5. Heartburn

As your uterus expands, it can pressure your stomach and cause heartburn. Eating small, frequent meals and avoiding spicy or acidic foods can help prevent heartburn.

6. Constipation

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can slow down digestion and cause constipation. Eating a high-fiber diet, staying hydrated, and regularly exercising can help keep things moving.

7. Stretch marks

You may start to notice stretch marks as your body grows to accommodate your growing baby. Stretch marks are normal parts of pregnancy that happen to many women, though not all.

Gaining healthy weight at a steady rate can reduce the potential severity of stretch marks.

8. Backache

As your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts and can strain your back. Wearing supportive shoes, practicing good posture, and doing exercises to strengthen your core muscles can help prevent back pain.

9. Round ligament pain

As your uterus expands, it can cause stretching and pulling sensations in the ligaments that support it. Resting, changing positions, and doing gentle stretches can help alleviate round ligament pain.

10. Increased vaginal discharge

Having more vaginal discharge during pregnancy is expected due to hormonal changes. As long as the discharge is clear or white and doesn’t have a strong odor, it’s likely normal. 

If you have concerns, talk to your healthcare provider.

11. Braxton Hicks contractions

These are practice contractions that help prepare your body for labor. Drinking water, changing positions, and resting can help alleviate Braxton Hicks contractions.

Remember that every pregnancy is different, and not all women experience the same symptoms. If you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy symptoms or solutions, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider.

12. Breast growth

Increased blood flow to the breast prepares them for nursing and leads to a marked increase in size. However, you may not notice a lot of breast growth, especially compared to another pregnant woman. 

How much breast growth happens depends on your unique body and your breast size before pregnancy.

13. Headaches

Headaches are early symptoms but can persist for up to 17 weeks and longer in some women. They happen due to increased blood volume caused by surging pregnancy hormones. 

Stronger headaches may lead to blurred vision from time to time, caused by blood circulation and fluid retention, among other reasons. Intense headaches can be worrying but are not usually a cause for concern. 

Stay hydrated and rest your neck, eyes, head, and shoulders as much as possible when and before headaches arise. 

Don’t hesitate to speak to your healthcare provider if headaches persist and get in the way of normal life.

17 weeks pregnant

Self-Care at 17 Weeks pregnant

Here are some self-care tips for pregnancy week 17:

1. Take a warm bath: A warm bath can help you relax and relieve muscle tension.

2. Get a prenatal massage: A prenatal massage can help relieve back pain, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

3. Practice gentle yoga: Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve flexibility and balance, and prepare your body for labor.

4. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is vital for physical and mental health. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.

6. Practice good sleep hygiene: Getting enough rest and sleep is essential for physical and mental health. Develop a regular sleep schedule and avoid screens before bedtime.

7. Practice deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and anxiety and promote relaxation.

8. Connect with others: Staying connected with friends, family, or a support group can help reduce feelings of isolation and provide emotional support.

9. Eat a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can help nourish your body and support your baby’s growth.

10. Prioritize self-care: Make time for activities that bring you joy and help you relax, like reading, walking, or listening to music. 

Exercise is beneficial for stress management and physical health, and well-being. Even simple exercises such as walking or Kegel exercises (squeezing your pelvic floor muscles) go a long way in preparing your body for birth and post-birth recovery.

Remember, self-care is important for your physical and mental health during pregnancy and can help you prepare for the new role of being a parent. 

Don’t hesitate to ask for help or support when you need it.

FAQs at 17 Weeks pregnant

What are the signs of a healthy pregnancy at 17 weeks pregnant?

At 17 weeks of pregnancy, some signs of a healthy pregnancy include:

1. Visible weight gain and a growing belly

2. Feeling the baby move for the first time (usually around 16-20 weeks)

3. Decrease in nausea and other first-trimester symptoms

4. Increased energy and feeling less tired

5. Healthy appetite and craving for nutritious foods

6. Stable blood pressure and heart rate

7. Normal results from routine prenatal tests and ultrasound scans

It’s important to note that every woman and pregnancy is unique, and some may experience different symptoms or timelines. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider.

Can my baby feel it when I rub my belly?

It is possible that your baby can feel you rubbing your pregnant belly at 17 weeks. 

At this stage of pregnancy, your baby’s nervous system is developing rapidly, and they have begun to develop a sense of touch. They are also able to sense changes in pressure and movement around them.

While it’s unclear how much your baby can feel or distinguish, some studies suggest they can respond to touch and movement by moving or kicking. 

Overall, rubbing your belly and talking to your baby can help strengthen the bond between you and your baby, and it’s a great way to start the process of bonding during pregnancy.

17 weeks pregnant

How do I know my fetus is doing well?

At 17 weeks, some signs can indicate that your fetus is doing well:

1. Regular fetal movements: You should feel your baby’s movements regularly, indicating that they are active and healthy.

2. Normal growth and development: Your doctor will monitor your baby’s growth and development during routine prenatal visits. They will also perform ultrasounds to check your baby’s organ development, size, and overall health.

3. Healthy heartbeat: Your doctor will monitor your baby’s heartbeat during prenatal visits. A healthy fetal heartbeat range is typically between 120 and 160 beats per minute.

4. No signs of complications: If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms or complications, such as bleeding or cramping, you must contact your healthcare provider immediately.

It’s important to attend all your prenatal appointments and don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider any questions or concerns you have about your pregnancy.

What should I avoid at 17 weeks pregnant?

At 17 weeks pregnant, it’s important to avoid certain things to ensure your and your baby’s health and safety. Here are some things you should avoid:

1. Alcohol

2. Smoking

3. Raw or undercooked meat

4. Fish with high levels of mercury

5. Unpasteurized dairy products

6. Hot tubs and saunas

It’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you have during pregnancy and to follow their recommendations for a healthy pregnancy.

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Is walking acceptable at 17 weeks pregnant?

Yes, walking is a great form of exercise during pregnancy, including at 17 weeks pregnant. 

Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help you stay active and healthy during pregnancy. It can help strengthen your muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and increase your overall well-being.


By pregnancy week 17, many pregnant women experience reduced symptom severity. Still, every pregnancy is different, so while most women find relief by this stage, some will continue to experience those early, challenging symptoms.

Continued self-care is crucial at week 17 as you approach week 20, the halfway mark of your pregnancy journey.

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