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 baby is growing stronger by the day. You can feel that for yourself as those first timid flutters become more pronounced pokes from her busy little feet and hands. She can touch her own face, and she may be looking for her thumb to suck.

Your baby is now about 5 inches long -- that's not quite as long as a ballpoint pen -- and her body systems are in good working order. Her circulatory system and urinary tract are functioning, and she is inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid as she learns to breathe.

Pink nipples are forming on her chest, and your baby has mammary glands even if she's a he. If your baby is a girl, her ovaries are busy developing tiny follicles. She will have 6 million eggs or so at this point in your pregnancy, but that number will fall to about 1 million by the time she is born.

If you could see your baby, she'd look long and lanky, with legs not much bigger around than your thumb. Soon she'll start developing a layer of fat that will keep her warm after birth. In fact, a newborn weighing about 8 pounds at birth will have more than 5 pounds of fat on her body.

Pregnancy Month by Month: Month 5
Pregnancy Month by Month: Month 5

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Find a Baby Name

Browse by

or Enter a name

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment