Pregnancy week 17

Pregnancy Week 17

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

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

ultrasound week 17
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine -

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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What Week 17 of Your Pregnancy Is Really Like

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.

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This Week's To-Do List

  • Combat your forgetful "pregnancy brain" with lots of notes and reminders.
  • Treat yourself to a prenatal massage
  • Sign up for a childbirth class.
  • Start a college fund for baby-to-be by opening a 529 account or a special savings account.
  • Pick up a saline spray or humidifier to alleviate congestion caused by pregnancy.


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