Pregnancy Week 17

July 8, 2009

Now in the 15th week of development, your little baby measures anywhere between 4.4 to 4.8 inches from top to tip and had doubled in weight to almost 3.5 ounces. If you were able to hold the baby in your hand at this point in your pregnancy, he would fit into your palm quite comfortably, being about the size of a large apple or a small pomegranate by 17 weeks pregnant.

What's Going On In There?

Baby is busy these days, swimming around and playing in the safety of your womb. You may begin to feel movement, although intermittently, as baby stretches and plays. The soft cartilage skeleton is now beginning to convert into bone so it is important for you to ensure your calcium intake is adequate. Your baby is also beginning to put on fat, which helps his metabolism and heat production. Baby is sensitive to touch and is able to hear outside of the womb by now. This is the perfect time for both Mommy and Daddy to connect with Baby through touch and sound. Rubbing your tummy in smooth, circular motions can create a sense of calm for the baby and reading aloud, talking to your baby and playing soothing music all have a positive effect upon your little one.

Your Body Is Growing, And It's Showing!

Your uterus is growing and expanding more these days. The shape is changing from a ball to more of an oval and before you know it, it will take up all of the space in your abdomen and pelvis. As your uterus grows, other organs are pushed around to accommodate the growth. Don't worry-your body is built for the changes and is able to handle the shifting as it happens without distress. Since your uterus is now about two inches below your bellybutton, you likely have a little tummy to show off!

By now, you are gaining weight and you may see an increase in vaginal discharge. Referred to as leucorrhoea, the discharge has no odor and is clear or milky in color. This discharge is due to the increase of estrogen produced during pregnancy as well as the increase of blood flow to the genital area. Don't be alarmed. However, if the discharge is very heavy it may be difficult to determine whether it is discharge or amniotic fluid. If you are uncertain or if there is any amount of blood in the discharge, contact your health care provider immediately as this may be a sign of preterm labor.

Signs Of Infection Require Addressing

To handle the excessive vaginal discharge, wearing panty liners works well. Tampons are not safe to use during pregnancy and douching can be dangerous as it may introduce air into the vagina, which, in turn, can cause serious complications. Douching can also trigger vaginal infections. If the discharge causes itching or burning, a yeast infection may be present. If there is a bad smell to the discharge, there may be a vaginal disorder, which may be caused by an STI (sexually transmitted infection). If you are concerned that any of these situations may be occurring, contact your health care provider for appropriate treatment.

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