17 Weeks Pregnant
Decisions, decisions. Now that you’re 17 weeks pregnant, start making firm plans, like whether or not you’re going to find out baby’s sex via ultrasound (if you didn’t already through first trimester prenatal testing), and what kind of childbirth class you’d like to take. As you start making these decisions, the pregnancy will feel even more real, which is super exciting, but part of you is probably feeling a little anxious too. After all, you’re at week 17 of your pregnancy; that’s almost halfway through and there’s so much to do, it can be overwhelming. Our best advice? Don’t try to do it all yourself—ask for help. And whatever doesn’t get done? You’ll find it’s not that important anyhow.
How Big Is Baby at 17 Weeks?
A baby at pregnancy week 17 is the size of a pomegranate. Your 17-week fetus is about 5.1 inches long and weighs about 5.9 ounces.
17 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
At 17 weeks pregnant, you're four months pregnant. But here's the catch: Pregnancy is technically longer than nine months: It's 40 weeks long, and if you assign four weeks to a month, that's 10 months long. Of course, some months have slightly more than four weeks. It can all get a little confusing, which is why doctors track pregnancy by week, not month.
When you’re 17 weeks pregnant, symptoms are most commonly due to your rapidly growing baby. Here’s what you’re likely feeling this week:
- Increased bodily fluids. Vaginal discharge, sweat, mucus and other fluids are in full force because of your increased blood flow.
- Weird dreams. You gave birth to a chipmunk? Married your boss? Having strange dreams might be caused by your hormones, but it might also be the result of your nerves and anticipation.
- Itchy boobs and belly. As baby is growing, your skin is stretching thinner and can be more sensitive. Resist the urge to scratch, and find a soothing skin cream that eases the itch.
- More rapid weight gain. You may have gained about 5 to 10 pounds by now. It’s normal to gain about 1 to 2 pounds per week in the second trimester. Sudden or excessive weight gain could be a sign of a problem though, so talk to your OB if it’s higher than that.
- Stretch marks. As you’re putting on some pounds and your uterus continues to expand, getting some stretch marks might be inevitable (especially if you’re 17 weeks pregnant with twins!). It’s different for every woman. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and use a good quality moisturizer to try to combat them.
Baby is working on getting stronger, and your 17 weeks pregnant body is working on getting bigger—about 1 to 2 pounds bigger per week. (Weight gain should be about the same if you’re 17 weeks pregnant with twins.) Make sure you document your growing 17 weeks pregnant belly by taking lots of photos. We promise: One day you’re going to look back and reminisce about this time. You’ll want to have a keepsake of how your body changed.
Baby's rubbery cartilage is now turning to bone. And baby is growing some meat on those bones, putting on some fat. Your 17-week fetus is growing a stronger, thicker umbilical cord too.
You may have a 17 weeks pregnant ultrasound if you’ve opted to have a cordocentesis. In this procedure, umbilical cord blood is tested for signs of chromosomal abnormalities. The doctor uses an ultrasound to find the place where the cord meets the placenta—that’s the spot where they need to remove the blood. Typically, this diagnostic test is performed after 17 weeks; it may be used if amniocentesis results were inconclusive and you and your partner want a more definitive answer about baby’s health.
Reminders for the week:
Medical content was reviewed February 2020 by Patricia Pollio, MD, a New York-based ob-gyn and director of the department of obstetrics & gynecology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York.