With the onset of the 17th week of pregnancy, you are very much into the second trimester of pregnancy. This is also the phase when one is very much at ease with the pregnancy. The issues that initially plague during the first few weeks of pregnancy, now almost start fading away. During the 17th week of pregnancy you are very much in the ‘feel good’ zone of pregnancy, however, your body still continues to undergo various changes both at the physiological and psychological level. Some common gastrointestinal issues like heartburn, constipation or indigestion are likely to happen during the 17th week of pregnancy.
Various Changes During the 17th Week of Pregnancy
Following are the various changes that take place during the 17th week of pregnancy in a woman:-
Changes in the Fetus During the 17th Week of Pregnancy
Changes in Fetus’ Height and Weight: On the onset of the 17th week of pregnancy, the fetus measures around 5 inches in length and weighs about 4 to 5 ounces.
Changes in the Fetus’ Nervous System: The brain and the nervous system start taking the shape gradually during the 17th week of pregnancy.
Changes in the Fetus’ Skeletal System: The bones and denture of the fetus start becoming solid. The feet and limbs of the fetus mature including the finger prints during the 17th week of pregnancy.
Changes in the Fetus’ Excretory System: With the onset of the 17th of pregnancy, the fetus starts excreting inside the amniotic fluid sac.
Changes in the Fetus’ Sensory Organs: The hearing power of the fetus increases during the 17th week of pregnancy. It might respond to you or to sounds that might reach its ears. In response, every now and then the pregnant woman starts feeling punching and kicks in the belly region. By the end of 17th week of pregnancy, pregnant women feel a stronger bond with the fetus.
Fetus’ Movement in the Amniotic Sac: The mother starts feeling the fetus’ movements inside, every now and then during the 17th week of pregnancy. Initially, many women find it difficult to decipher whether the movements inside their belly is because of fetal movement, gas bubbles, hunger pangs or normal flutters. In order to crack the mystery, one may pick up on a pattern that develops gradually and thereby you shall be able to understand when your baby stirs inside you.
Changes in the Mother during the 17th Week of Pregnancy
Gastrointestinal Issues During the 17th Week of Pregnancy: Gastrointestinal issues include indigestion, constipation, heartburn and nausea. These are some of the most common issues experienced during the 17th week of pregnancy in the mother, as the appetite is generally more than usual. The fiery burning sensation in the chest is what is referred to as heartburn. This might make pregnancy a miserable experience. It is the lower esophageal sphincter which is responsible for keeping the contents of the stomach in order. During the 17th week of pregnancy, the LES muscle might begin to leak or relax, pushing the acids to flow upwards into the esophagus. This causes a burning sensation in the chest.
How to deal with this change?
To avoid having heartburns, the mother should maintain a balanced diet and not eat too much at once. The digestion process during pregnancy slows down. This is generally a cause behind the indigestion during the 17th week of pregnancy.
- One should drink a lot of water and move around a bit. Always take a small round after eating your meal as this will help in digesting your food in a better way.
- In order to balance out metabolism as well as get rid of constipation, prefer eating food that is rich in fiber content.
- In case of excessive discomfort, it is advised to consult your physician immediately.
Skin Patches or Pigmentation During the 17th Week of Pregnancy: About 40 to 60% of women experience melasma, also referred to as ‘pregnancy pigmentation’. One might notice blackish or brownish spots on your face. Studies say that this is because of the hormonal changes inside the body.
How to deal with this change?
In order to prevent skin pigmentation during the 17th week of pregnancy, it is advised to protecting yourself from excessive sun exposure. Apply sunscreen; use a hat or an umbrella so as to avoid direct exposure to the sun rays.
Pain in the Back During the 17th Week of Pregnancy: Sciatic nerve is present in the back side of your body; and during the pregnancy, especially during the 17th week of pregnancy, when your belly grows steadily, you might feel intermittent shooting pains in either of your legs. The growth of the fetus exerts pressure on the back and nerves and thereby causes pain.
How to deal with this change?
In order to divide the pressure on the sciatic nerve, it is advised to lie down on either sides and not on your back.
- You can use a cushion in between your ankle and knee for support. It will help in reducing the pain as it relaxes the sciatic nerves.
- You can also take help of heating pads in areas of muscle pain. Be careful with the temperature. Also do not have a direct contact of the skin with the heating pad as it may burn your skin
- You may try and go for swimming or water aerobics to release the pressure from the sciatic nerve.
Miscellaneous Changes During the 17th Week of Pregnancy: Other changes include chest congestion, back ache, ankle and joint swellings, stretch marks, insomnia etc.
Tips and Precautions During the 17th Week of Pregnancy
- You should go for regular checkups during the 17th week of pregnancy. Regular ultrasound during the second trimester is a must, as it helps in monitoring the condition of the fetus and any complications, if arise, can be detected proactively.
- Miscarriages are rare to occur during the 17th week of pregnancy or this period in pregnancy. If you experience excruciating abdominal, vaginal discharge, bleeding, pain on your shoulder area, it is advised to immediately seek immediate medical attention.
- Being a little cautious and proactive, you should be quite at ease during your 17th week of pregnancy and in no time you will be at the hospital to deliver your baby.
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