17 weeks pregnant | EWmums.com
 

17 Weeks Pregnant: What's Happening

You might start to feel your baby kicking.

Between weeks 16 and 18 of pregnancy, your health care provider may offer you a second trimester screening test (known as the multiple marker test or triple screen), which measures the levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a protein produced by the fetus, and the pregnancy hormones hCG and estriol in the mother's blood. It's called a quadruple screen (or quad screen) when the level of an additional substance, called inhibin-A, is also measured.

If you have already done a blood test and/or ultrasound in the first trimester (first-trimester screening test), then the results of the two tests together is called an integrated screening test. The results of these tests can tell mums whether their babies are at risk for (not whether they have) neural tube defects such as spina bifida or chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. An abnormal result does not necessarily mean that your baby has a problem — but it may mean more testing is required. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and advantages of these tests.

Pregnancy calendar - 17 weeks

Your baby is now the size of a...

Pomegranate.

Around this time you may start to feel movements or fluttering feelings. You baby is now around 5 inches long from head to bottom, about the size of the palm of your hand. She is developing well and is starting to put on essential body fat. As well as practising sucking and swallowing your baby’s heart rate will appear more regulated now and will show around 130+ beats per minute, roughly twice as fast as your heart beats!

The placenta and umbilical cord are changing to accommodate baby’s needs, growing to accommodate her ever increasing size and providing all of the essential nutrients and oxygen as well as removing waste. Your baby’s bones will be getting stronger and harder over the next week or so changing from soft cartilage to bone.

Pregnancy symptoms at 17 weeks

Increased vaginal discharge, sweat, mucus, and other fluids due to increased blood flow, itchy boobs and belly, stretch marks, weight gain and weird dreams.

Tips and advice for pregnancy at 17 weeks

Resist the urge to scratch your stretch marks and your belly! Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and use a good quality moisturiser/oil to try to combat stretch marks.

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