17 Weeks Pregnant

By BSc, MSc (embryologist) and BA, MA (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 11/10/2014

During this week your waist will change, it will widen due to the fact that the lower part of the abdomen has increased in size. It’s a good moment to start wearing pregnancy trousers, and even though they will still be loose, you’ll feel more comfortable.

Provided bellow is an index with the 3 points we are going to expand on in this article.

Changes in the mother

Uterine morphology will also be different; it will acquire a more oval shape, displacing upwards to adjust to the foetus growth.

During the second half of pregnancy, it is common to feel cramps in hands and legs, due to the fact that the nerves are compressed by the growth of the uterus. Another possible explanation is the alteration of the blood flow on the rest of the organism, since most of the irrigation will be now going to the uterine area, along with fluid retention and the decrease in some mineral nutrients, such as calcium and potassium.

The cramps can be very annoying and they can even wake you up at night. The best you can do is to lie on your side until they are over.

In this moment you’ll feel the development of your breasts that are getting ready for breastfeeding. They increase in size and they’ll receive more irrigation, which means the veins become visible. As I stated before, your body is getting ready for the breastfeeding period.

Changes in the fetus

During the 17th week of pregnancy the gustatory papillae in the tongue are formed, which will make it possible for your child to develop the sense of taste and distinguish among the different flavours when he eats something.

It’s likely that he’ll also develop the hearing and will perceive sounds of the outer world that may scare him. He can already perceive light, even though his eyes will still be closed. It’s a huge change in his capacity of receiving stimuli.

At the end of this week he will be between 12 and 17 cm long.

The lanugo and the oily liquid covering his body named vernix will begin to disappear.

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 Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Neus Ferrando Gilabert
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH). Experience managing Embryology and Andrology Labs at Centro Médico Manzanera (Logroño, Spain). More information about Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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