In association with professional midwife experts at birthEd, find out everything you need to know about pregnancy at 17 weeks, including how your baby is growing, changes to expect in your body and pregnancy health, nutrition and wellness advice.

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17 Weeks Pregnant – Your baby, your body & you

Your Baby

Your baby is approximately 14-16 cm and around 80-95g. This week teeth are starting to form in your baby’s gums. Keep up your calcium intake to help build healthy little chompers.

Something that has also been forming is your baby’s fingerprints, adding the finest of unique details to your little one. Your baby is continuing to practice breathing actions using their surrounding amniotic fluid. Brown fat is starting to form, keeping your baby nice and warm.

Your Body

You may notice an increased appetite at this point. Maybe you are off your usual favourite foods but are craving things you never liked before. This is all very normal, but do be mindful about the food you are eating.

There is a condition called Pica that sometimes pops up in pregnancy, this is a craving of non-food substances.

Some of the more common pica cravings being chalk and soil.

While there is little known about why Pica occurs, there are speculations it may be due to underlying mineral deficiencies. There is no ‘cure for Pica, short of not indulging in your strange cravings. But do let your midwife or specialist know if you are having these cravings, just so they are aware, they may recommend supplements or their own advice on dealing with it.

Let your partner or support people know you are having these cravings so they can keep an eye on you whilst you’re out gardening!

You

As your body is becoming more obviously pregnant and you are starting to feel the pressure of pending parenthood, it is a good time to start practicing meditation and positive affirmations.

Meditation doesn’t have to be a religious or even spiritual experience. Taking time to learn how to quiet your mind and think positive thoughts can aid in this tumultuous journey. Take time to watch some videos or read some materials on mindfulness and meditation.

Using mantras like ‘I can do this’ and ‘I am strong’ are small but simple words to help ground yourself when you are starting to feel tightly wound. Birth affirmations are believed to help program your subconscious mind and tune into your natural ability to give birth.  We recommend Headspace.com for learning about meditation and Calm BirthⓇ for specific meditations to use in preparation for childbirth.

Your Relationships

As you may start showing at this point, friends and family, and even strangers may start reaching out to touch your bump. Often people are quick to touch a pregnant woman’s belly without asking permission first. It can be uncomfortable for some women to experience this break in their personal bubble. Despite the good intentions and enthusiasm that generally come with touching a pregnant belly, you are always entitled to step back and deny this physical contact. A step back and a “no thank you” should be enough to deter any further unsolicited touching. Stand proud and speak up if others are making you uncomfortable

This Week’s Preparation

Listen to your body. Are you tired? Can you make time to rest?
Talk with your LMC about any ‘strange’ cravings you may have
Explore meditation
Google ‘birth affirmations’ and download a ready made set or start to create your own list of affirmations that you connect with and feel like they would inspire you. Print them or write them on post it notes and put them up!

Back to 52 Weeks of pregnancy.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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