Week 17 forms forms part of the lovely second trimester – which is truly the best time during pregnancy!
At this stage most women start showing a baby bump. Physically you are also starting to feel much better, and are full of energy. The pregnancy glow really starts lighting you up! You’ll find that you might start “nesting” at this stage. Getting all kinds of ideas to clear out the room ear-marked for the baby. Maybe changing some things in the house. Or garden. Redecorating common rooms. Some even start to tackle the kitchen – but that is not advisable.
The mask of pregnancy usually rears its spotty head at this stage. Known as chloasma, it is usually brownish spots appearing on your face. Be sun wise and stay out of it as much as possible! If you have to be outside in the sun, cover up, wear a wide-brimmed hat and always sunscreen, even more so now.
Some pregnant women begin experiencing uncomfortable heartburn, as well as indigestion. Your baby is growing and thus your uterus is expanding, taking up more space and shifting some of your organs slightly. Cue gastrointestinal issues.
Your baby is now roughly the size of an onion! Baba’s soft cartilage is now turning into bone and he or she is even starting to store some fat.
The most amazing thing of this week? Your baby is getting his or her fingerprints! One of a kind!
Tips to live by:
- Start giving baby names some serious thought. You might find out the sex of the baby around this time!
- Begin to dress comfortably, no tight clothing. Your organs are already taking a bit of a strain with the growing uterus, pushing from outside inwards will just lead to major discomfort.
- Kick off your heels and stick to flat shoes. You are more prone to lose your balance during this time, what with a heavier belly, and you could fall! Please, don’t fall.
- Porridge brain – a side-effect almost all pregnant women get – is going into overdrive. It is also known as “pregnancy fog”. Don’t worry about it at all, just get yourself a user-friendly reminder app on your phone, and add all important appointments, dates, and numbers. Porridge brain will be with you for quite some time. Even after baby is born. Sometimes, it just seems to never leave again! – Jana Cloete
Your baby’s skeleton is mostly rubbery cartilage, but will start to harden as the weeks go by. A protective substance called myelin slowly begins to wrap around his spinal cord. Sweat glands are starting to develop all over his body. Just as he grows bigger, the umbilical cord, his lifeline to the placenta, is growing stronger and thicker, too. (Scan picture and baby growth information provided by 4DScan.)