Week by Week

What pregnant women need to know in week 17 of pregnancy?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le.

msBahasa Malaysia

Baby Development

How is my baby growing?

Your baby is growing fast and is now abouth the size of a turnip, weighing about 150 grams and has the length of about 12cm from head to toe.

There is now some fat accumulating on your baby’s body. Your baby’s body fat will continue to grow and become two-thirds of his weight by the time you give birth. Body fat is important to keep your baby warm. At this time, your baby’s heart is beating more regularly at about 140 to 150 beats per minute. This is almost twice as fast as yours! This means your baby is growing strong and will need lots of nutrients and oxygen. Your placenta developing fast to support the needs of your baby.

Body & Life Changes

How is my body changing?

Your breasts are continuing to grow and may cause discomfort. Your hormones are causing more blood flow to your breast to prepare for milk production. This can cause veins to become more visible. You may also increase in breast size. Make sure to by a new comfortable bra to give your breasts the proper support.

You may also notice an increase in appetite. During the second trimester, your nausea probably have went away. This is great! You now get to enjoy food and feed your baby essential nutrients. Make sure to stay away from high-sugary and high-fatty foods. As tempting as it can be, you need to stay healthy and give your baby adequate nutrients and vitamins to grow. Many people will say that you are “eating for two” but you should not take this too literally. You may gain weight at a faster rate than desired. Plan out your meals and choose more fruits and vegetables. Remember that you are allowed about additional 300 calories a day.

What should I be concerned about?

You may be concerned of your body temperature increasing or sweating more easily. It is nothing to be concerned about but it can be very uncomfortable. Try to cool down by wearing loose fitting clothes, take a cold shower or keep a personal fan in your person. Your blood is increasing in volume and flowing at a faster rate. This can cause your skin to feel flushed and hot. It is important to keep cool and dry. When your body is hot, your baby can also feel the heat, leading to harmful effects. Excessive sweating can also lead to dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water.

Doctor Visits

What should I tell my doctor?

Sometimes you feel dizzy and you are extremely worried at such moments? Calm down, this is not a dangerous phenomenon. In fact, it is a fairly common symptom, and almost always appear when you are pregnant. When you feel dizzy, lie inclined to the left and lifting the legs up as high as possible; or you can sit down and put his head in between his knees. Take a deep breath and loosen any tight clothing. As soon as you feel better, go eat a little and let your doctor know about this dizziness in the next visit. The faint in fact very rare, but if you fainted, do not consider anything, you should go to the doctor immediately.

What tests should I know about?

If you have not seen your doctor this month, you may want to schedule a visit during this week. During your doctor’s visit, your doctor may perform the following tests:

  • Measure your weight and blood pressure;
  • Check the sugar and protein in the urine;
  • Check the fetal heart rate;
  • Check the size of the uterus by external palpation;
  • Measure the height from the bottom of the uterus;
  • Check whether your hands and your feet have swollen or varicose veins or not.

Tell the doctor about any symptom that may be unusual or bothersome. It is a good idea to have a list of questions ready before you see your doctor.

Health & Safety

What should I know about being healthy and safe while pregnant?

Here are few things you should know to be healthy and safe:

X-ray

X-rays during pregnancy are generally safe. However the level of safety will depend on the type of X-ray that you need to perform and the amount of radiation exposure. Most X-ray tests are proven to not cause serious harm to your fetus. However you also need to know that too much radiation exposure and high intensity radiation exposure will increase risk for harmful effects to your baby. These harmful effects may include impairment of mental development, birth defects or childhood leukemia.

No exercise

You may be worried about not getting enough exercise. Exercise is always recommended but there are times when you may not be able to exercise. For example, if you have been instructed by your doctor to be on bed rest. The reason why your doctor have restricted you from physical activity is to keep you and your baby safe. You may be a risk for a miscarriage or preterm labor, have an incompetent cervix, bleeding or spotting, or have been diagnosed with placenta previa or preclampsia. Talk to your doctor to find ways to keep healthy.

Let’s see how you and your baby are doing in week 18!

Hello Health Group does not offer any advice, diagnosis or medical treatment.

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