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Mother and Baby

17 weeks pregnant – what to expect

17 weeks pregnant

Week 17 sees more big changes, as your baby starts storing body fat and working on her swallowing and sucking skills. Here’s everything your baby and your body is doing at 17 weeks pregnant.

How big is my baby at 17 weeks?

Your little one is now around five inches long, which means she could still fit in the palm of your hand. She should also weigh about five ounces now, which is just a little bit heavier than a £2 coin!

What’s my baby doing at 17 weeks?

At 17 weeks, your baby’s body is coated with hair called lanugo, which helps to keep her warm until she has enough body fat. She’ll also be covered in vernix – a waxy substance that protects her skin from the amniotic fluid that she’s floating in at the moment. When she’s born, you’ll see some of the vernix still on her skin, but your midwife will usually rub most of it off with a towel.

Her heart is now regulated by the brain, which means it’s not beating so randomly any more, but will still be beating about twice as fast as yours. As we mentioned last week, as lot of her time spent in the womb is practising the skills she’ll need on the outside, this week, she’ll be honing her sucking and swallowing skills in preparation of her first feed.

Another cute addition this week? She’ll get her fingerprints!

What is my body doing at 17 weeks?

By week 17, your body is showing signs of being pregnant and most women find their appetite goes into overdrive! Don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly feeling hungrier than ever before, it’s a sign your baby is getting bigger and hungrier too! That said, remember eating for two isn’t to be taken literally and that you should only be gaining around four pounds a month during pregnancy.

You’ll probably notice it’s not only your belly getting bigger, hormones and milk-producing gland are developing to get your body ready to feed your baby. All of this activity, paired with an increase of bloody flow can mean you grow up to three cup sizes during pregnancy!

Right now your ovaries are also releasing a hormone called relaxin. As the name suggests, it relaxes ligaments and joints in your body in preparation for birth when you need the muscles and joints in your pelvis to be flexible to allow your baby out. This loosening of the joints can also increase the risk of you getting backache, and you need to be careful when you exercise as you could strain muscles more easily.

Take a look at our pregnant girls guide to the gym and helpful guide to beating back pain and get clued up!

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Loose teeth: Did you know hormones can affect the ligaments and bones in your mouth, which can make your teeth feel wobbly or even fall out. If you do lose teeth, contact your dentist straight away.
  • Heartburn and indigestion: You might have shaken off the morning sickness and extreme tiredness, but unfortunately this side effect isn’t going anywhere. If you’re suffering with heartburn, eat little and often and avoid lying down after a big meal.
  • Headaches: These have appeared on the common symptoms list for the past few weeks, and are a common culprit to look out for.
  • Backaches: As we mentioned above, pregnancy backaches can be a painful side effect of pregnancy. Ease this common symptom by making sure you have a firm mattress and placing a cushion behind your back when sitting down.
  • Stretch marks: Now your body begins to grow, stretch marks can be common. This one is hereditary, so ask your mum how pregnancy affected her body! If you are suffering with stretch marks already, take a look at these creams to help prevent any more from appearing

Take me back to week 16

Take me to week 18

Read more, the best pregnancy fitness wear: 

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Black Maternity Yoga Pants, £18, mothercare.com

Yoga is encouraged when pregnant - a time when you're likely to need a moment to breathe and relax! These Mothercare yoga pants are soft and stretchy for optimum comfort and the wide waist band will expand with your bump. 
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Maternity Mama Sweat Top, £25.00, mothercare.com

With an adorable slogan, we can see you wanting to wear this both in and out of the gym. Check out the cool design on the sleeves! 
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ASOS Maternity Oversized Hoodie, £28, asos.com

An oversided jumper that will actually be 'oversized'! With extra room for your growing bump, this is a great off-to-the-gym essential. 
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Shock Absorber Run Sports Bra. £33.57, wiggle.co.uk

During pregnancy, when your boobs are growing and more sensitive than ever, it's important to get a supportive sports bra to help. This shock absorbing bra reduces friction injuries, has wide, padded non-slip straps and is available in a number of sizes. 
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The Active Kit - Pregnancy Yoga & Sportswear, £69.00, seraphine.com

This great looking bundle includes a maternity sports bra, tank top, leggings and a headband! All you could need for those pregnant gym trips, in one click! 
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Cantaloop Maternity Support Belt, £11.00, johnlewis.com

This not only supports your belt, but helps keep you comfortable. Just pop it on your normal baggy gym t-shirt, and you might find you want to leave it on all day. 
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Fit Active Maternity Running Tights, £25, yummymummymaternity.co.uk

Experts advise you don't start any exercise your body isn't already used to now you are pregnant. That said, if you're already a runner and want to carry on jogging with your bump, you'll need some supportive running tights. These definitely fit the bill, with added bump support to keep you comfortable. 
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High Support Pregnancy Exercise Top, £49.99, fittamamama.com

When they say high-support, it doesn't get better than this. This clever little gym top holds everything in whilst you move, plus it's super flattering! 
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Fit Active Maternity Gymwear Workout Long Sleeve Top, £28.00, yummymummymaternity.co.uk

If you're pregnant during winter, or your gym has a particularly vicious air conditioning sysyem, this long sleeved workout top also has added bump support. 
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Maternity Pure Body full panel capri leggings, £22.95, gap.co.uk

Black gym leggings are the necessity for every workout wardrobe, including during pregnancy. These have a higher bump support than your normal pair. 
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Stegosaurus Slogan Maternity Top, £22.00, jojomamanbebe.co.uk

Looking for a cute oversized t-shirt? This one will look cute both in and out of the gym, and will actually stay 'oversized' over your growing bump. Take a look at these cute slogan maternity t-shirts to fall in love with over the next nine months. 
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The Grey MOTHER ‘Boyfriend’ Sweatshirt, £50.00, thefmlystore.com

We LOVE this mummy instagram blogger staple. Soft and comfy, this is definitely one you won't want to take off throughout your pregnancy. The best part? £10 from each jumper sale goes to Women for Women International - a charity helping women in war torn regions. 
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Compound Workout Vest, £40.00, sweatybetty.com

It might not be labelled as maternity, but this loose fitting workout top will flatter your growing bump. 

 
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