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Week 17

Week 17

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During your second trimester, your baby grows rapidly, and at the seventeenth week the placenta and fetus are roughly the same size. The baby is between 5.1 and 5.8 inches, and weighs approximately five ounces. Your baby might be sucking his or her thumb in the womb, and can swallow and suck. The soft, downy hair called lanugo still covers your baby's body, and the eyebrows and eyelashes are now apparent.

The baby's skin becomes less transparent as fat forms underneath, which helps with metabolism and heat production. Your fetus body is beginning to work on its own: the lungs exhale amniotic fluid, and the urinary system is functioning. Baby's heart is pumping away, and circulating around 25 quarts of blood each day.

The baby's not the only one growing at this point in your pregnancy your weight gain is about five to ten pounds. Your pregnancy is definitely showing, and you'll be wearing maternity clothes. Along with the weight gain, you may notice your appetite is increasing steadily. Remember, you need to eat 2500 calories each day about 300 more than before you got pregnant to keep you and your baby healthy.

The weight of your uterus might be causing you some discomfort at this point. Sleeping on your side can help, and standing up slowly to avoid dizziness is important. Prenatal exercise can also stretch your muscles and increase your energy, but be careful not to push yourself too much. You must avoid exercising while lying on your back during your second and third trimester, as this can interfere with circulation.

Most women in their second trimester are past the point of suffering from nausea, but heartburn and constipation can be at its worst later on in your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about which antacids are safe to use, and try adding more fiber to your diet to help you stay regular. Some women begin to notice varicose veins, or swelling in the hands and feet. Pregnancy support hose can help reduce swelling, and prevent more varicose veins from forming.

Emotionally, you're probably feeling at your best, as pregnancy hormones have stabilized since the first trimester. If you find you're still feeling fatigued, give yourself time to rest. Many pregnant women find that taking a nap in the afternoon makes a big difference in their energy levels, so focus on getting as much sleep as you can.


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