This is a good period of the pregnancy because the body has adjusted with the constant changes that have been taken place in the last few weeks. However, this is also the moment when you may confront with irritations and allergies caused by a change of diet or medical treatment. That`s why is best to consult the doctor who follows the development of your pregnancy if you need to start any kind of new treatment. From now on it becomes more likely to start feeling your baby`s movements.
It`s a good idea to change your position from time to time if you are standing, but also when you lie on your bed to avoid discomfort or cramps. It`s possible to feel dizzy or have the sensation of fainting, and in this case you must lie down and lift your feet on a pillow. The consumption of healthy snacks between meals, such as dry fruits or natural juices, might help as well.
Still, these symptoms won`t appear at all women and it`s possible for some future mothers not to feel any pregnancy signs and even to experience the best period of the pregnancy.
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17 Weeks Pregnant: The Development of the Baby
The umbilical cord becomes stronger, thickens and stretches as the pregnancy weeks pass and transports blood and nutrients towards the fetus. The sense of hearing of the baby becomes more and more developed, and the ears place themselves in a definitive position, while the internal ear is already formed.
The fetus develops an adipose tissue which will help in regulating his body`s temperature. Now the fetus will already have characteristic features well formed and he`ll begin keeping his head straight more often. As of this moment, the baby`s body and members has become longer than the head.
The eyes are well developed, but they remain closed for now. If the baby is a boy, his prostate will start to develop. The skeleton has transformed from cartilage into bone, but it remains flexible until after birth. The skin is still developing, but it remains transparent.
A protective layer will start to form around the fetus known as vernix. Layers of brown fat will begin forming under the skin, which will help regulate the body heat of the child after being born. Now the fetus weighs more than the placenta, and strong noises can scare him.
Change in the Mother`s Body
The belly increases its sizes also because of this reason and the other organs are obligated to change their position to make room for the uterus and fetus. The peak of the uterus is rounded and it increases in length. This will start pushing the intestines, at first upwards and then to one side.
Some women may experience periodic pains at their feet and sciatic nerve pain, some of these pains becoming unbearable. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve from the body and reaches under the uterus at the bottom of the foot. The cause of the pain can be related to the increase in weight of the fetus. Because the weight of the fetus presses the nerve, the only solution to avoid the pain is for the woman not to sit in one position for too long. Some pillows placed under the feet while sleeping can be of some help.
The discharges of the body increase in quantity because of the increased flow of the blood – here are also included nasal or vaginal discharges, sweat, etc. Still, there`s no reason to alarm because most of these symptoms appear after birth.
Consuming healthy and well balanced food from a nutritional point of view will increase immunity and will keep you away from possible sickness. Actually, keeping a healthy lifestyle in general can be a preventive measure against infections caused by bacteria.
Keep in mind that if you have a multiple pregnancy you`ll have to consume a larger amount of proteins to be enough for all babies.
What to Expect at this Point?
By now you are probably fully prepared for any kind of situation related to your pregnancy and perhaps only the movements of your baby are unpredictable, which even if you feel them more strongly, they`ll lift your spirit.
There are also women without a noticeable pregnancy, especially if they are tall because at them the weight is distributed equally all over the body.
To be sure of your baby`s health, you`ll have to do a few routine tests with every visit to your doctor. He`ll take your blood pressure, urine samples to check if any new infections may have appeared and blood samples to check the protein levels from your blood. Some tests are made one single time, while others during your entire pregnancy. The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test and the triple test (the Kettering test or the Bart`s test) are made generally between the 15th and 17th pregnancy weeks and are used to discover possible chromosomal abnormalities or issues at birth. They are also used to indicate any predisposition to miscarriage and premature birth.
The ultrasound scans are made between the 10th and 20th weeks. Their functional system uses ultrasound of high frequency to create an internal image of the baby. Lately, the technology has advanced so much that now the images can visualized in 3D and 4D, offering much more detailed information about the evolution of the baby.
Amniocentesis is a test used to detect possible genetic defects that the baby might have. This is made between weeks 15 and 18 by using a needle to extract liquid from the amniotic sac. The level of accuracy of this test is very high, but there are certain prenatal risks, such as infections or injuries that may appear when this test is made which may lead to pregnancy loss.