For more information about week 17 in a twin or multiple pregnancy, tap here.
Baby is becoming more aware, coordinated, and stronger everyday. Basically, Baby is having a ball at this point. You, on the other hand, might be experiencing some less than fun symptoms.
Baby is almost 8 inches long, and the soft cartilage that makes up your little one’s skeleton is ossifying, or laying the foundation for bones. You can help Baby out with the bone-hardening process by making sure you’re getting all the right nutrients: calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, C, and D, as well as riboflavin and phosphorous.
Baby’s heart is now beating 120-160 times a minute and is controlled by their brain rather than beating at random intervals. Furthermore, your little one’s brain is continuing to develop their senses of sight, smell, sound and touch! The umbilical cord is strengthening this week too. Your baby’s arms and legs will also have reached normal proportions around now and will continue to grow at this constant rate from here on out. And Baby is developing their coordination, so that they’ll be ready to take on the world in just a little more than a trimester and a half! If your little one is female, they are also already producing millions of eggs in their ovaries that they could use to have a baby themselves someday!
What’s new with you?
One notable pregnancy symptom for a lot of folks right around week 17 is round ligament pain, which is discomfort felt in the lower stomach and pelvis as the uterus expands and puts pressure on nearby ligaments. To alleviate these pains, try lying on your left side rather than your back in order to most reduce the amount of pressure that your uterus puts on its surroundings. You may also want to pick up something called a maternity belt, which can help support your belly and baby and ease some of the discomfort that’s normal as your body continues to grow but certainly doesn’t feel great.
You may continue to notice bodily fluids like vaginal discharge, sweat, and mucous flowing a bit more than normal, as a result of the increased blood circulating in your body. Your appetite is probably going to pick up soon as well, because your growing baby needs more and more nutrients each day to keep their development on course.
You might also start experiencing strange or vivid dreams, which is often due to a disrupted sleep schedule. Pregnancy hormones and the fact that you’re going through a major life change may play a part, but it could also be the case that you’re just remembering your dreams more vividly than before. If you’re waking up a few times each night for a bathroom run, because of new aches and pains, or due to insomnia, you have a better chance of remembering the dreams you were having right before that wake up than you do of remembering dreams from the middle of the night when you sleep through the night until morning. Jotting down a few notes on your dreams, especially if they’re particularly vivid, can be an interesting way to track your state of mind as your due date approaches. While your sleep schedule might look different these days, if it’s negatively impacting your day, there are lots of options that can help. Talk to your provider about pregnancy-safe options including meditation, routine exercise, therapy, and certain medications.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
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- “The Second Trimester.” Stanford Children’s Health. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=second-trimester-85-P01234.
- Mark A Curran, M.D. “Fetal Development.” Perinatology.com. Perinatology.com. March 31, 2019. https://www.perinatology.com/Reference/Fetal%20development.htm#1.