Your Pregnancy Week 17

Your Baby

Your baby will begin to form fat this week. The fat begins to deposit under his skin and is important in heat production and metabolism. At delivery, fat will account for 2-6 percent of your baby's total body weight. This will help him maintain his body temperature when he is born. Your baby is approximately 5 inches long and weighs in at about 140-145 grams (5 ounces). This means that the baby now weighs more than the placenta.

If you were to get an abdominal x-ray (which isn't recommended and could be dangerous), your baby's skeleton would be visible. His movements are becoming stronger and more frequent now. Reflex movements are fully functional as your baby will regularly suck and swallow and loud noises outside the uterus may actually cause the baby to startle.

Your Body

Your uterus has grown and is now about halfway between your pubic bone and navel (about an inch or inch and a half below your belly button). Your bodily secretions may increase due to the increased blood volume. If you have increased nasal congestion or runny nose, increased sweating or increased vaginal discharge this is normal and is nothing to worry about. Rest assured, this increase in body secretions will go away after the birth of your baby.

As your baby goes through some growth changes (getting bigger and beginning to add fat deposits under the skin) you may find yourself growing too. Average weight gain to this point in pregnancy is about five to ten pounds, but don't worry if you are a little off. If this is your second pregnancy (or beyond!), you will gain differently than if it is your first.