Pregnancy Week 17

In week 17, your baby is really starting to move. Get tips on making daycare decisions, dealing with dizziness, and more.

Week by week baby size image. Week by week baby size image.

How big is baby?

Your baby is now the size of a pear. He has hiccupped before, but this is the first time you might feel it.

Baby's Length: 5.12in.
Baby's Weight: 4.94oz.
Fetus at Week 17 What the baby looks like at week 17 of fetal development. Med ART Studios Explore More

Baby's Development

Finally, your baby's arms, legs, and trunk have caught up to the size of his head. Baby starts plumping up this week, as body fat is deposited under his skin and sweat glands develop. Also worth noting: The placenta is almost as big as your baby. It provides vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and oxygen, along with removing waste and filtering carbon dioxide.

Baby Week 17

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At approximately 5 ounces, the developing fetus is now about the size of an apple.The developing fetus can begin to hear sounds, like your heart beat and the sound of your voice as it resonates throughout the body.Organs are now well-developed. The heart contracts at about 150 beats per minute, the kidneys create urine, and the liver is starting to produce bile.
Week by week baby ultrasound image. Week by week baby ultrasound image. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine - AIUM.org

Week 17 Ultrasound

This close-up shows the baby-to-be's tiny right hand. You can see each bone within her delicate fingers. Although she may not be coordinated enough now to use her fingers (other than to wiggle!), by the time she's born she will have matured to the point where her fingers will have some dexterity -- she'll even be able to grasp your finger with her hand!

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Watch Baby's Growth

Second Trimester Begins: Weeks 13 to 17 of Pregnancy

Mom's changing body

Your belly may have been rounding out for a few weeks now, but pretty soon it's going to start to really pop (so everyone will be able to tell you're actually pregnant -- as opposed to simply more snack-happy). And once the world at large can see that you're expecting, get ready for lots of knowing smiles! From here on out, your uterus is gearing up for major expansion. This may sound odd, but it will have grown to as much as 1,000 times its normal size by time you deliver. (Picture a large pear morphing into a basketball.) And while we're on the subject of, um, enlargement, you may be gaining almost a pound a week right about now, although it's normal for weight gain to vary from week to week.

Weekly Tip

Wondering whether it's safe to eat fish? Your baby-to-be can benefit big-time from brain-boosting omega-3-rich fishes such as salmon. But some varieties should be avoided due to high levels of mercury, a pollutant that can affect baby's developing brain and nervous system. For this reason, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advise pregnant women not to eat swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish. In fact, most types of fish contain traces of mercury, so you'll want to limit your weekly consumption of safer varieties, too. According to the newest guidelines from the FDA, you can enjoy up to 12 ounces a week (roughly two average meals) of lower-mercury fish such as salmon, catfish, pollock, shrimp, and canned light tuna. Of those 12 ounces, only 6 should come from canned albacore tuna, chunk white tuna, and tuna steak combined, which tends to contain more mercury than light tuna. If you're eating fish caught in local waters, check online with your state's department of health for advisories.

Pregnancy Confidential Podcast

Picking a Baby Name You Don't Hate

For Week 17, we address the big baby name question: How do you actually pick one—that doesn't sound pretentious, works with your last name, doesn't make your partner question your sanity or remind you of your nemesis in 4th grade? Yup, choosing a baby name is harder than it looks.

This Week's To-Do List

Must-Reads

Second Trimester Begins: Weeks 13 to 17 of Pregnancy

Here's to hoping you're no longer feeling nauseated or exhausted! Right now your baby's brain and eyes are making dramatic strides each day. Learn all about it.

The Inside Story: Your Baby in Week Seventeen

Your baby is almost as long as a ballpoint pen now, and he'll continue to grow quickly in the second trimester.

Your Developing Baby: Week 17

What's going on with your baby in pregnancy week 17? Find out all about important pregnancy milestones and exciting fetal development specific to this week of pregnancy!

7 Reasons Why You Might Not Love Being Pregnant (It's Okay!)

From out-of-whack pregnancy emotions to rude comments to constant morning sickness, there are lots of reasons why you might secretly kind of hate being pregnant.

Make it to Forty Weeks

All the right moves now will help you avoid preterm labor -- and deliver the healthiest possible baby.

The Benefits of Prenatal Massage

Your body's working hard, so let an expert trained in pregnancy massage work some magic on your muscles.