Pregnancy week by week



Week 17 of Pregnancy

One of these weeks, you will experience one of the most wonderful and magical moments of pregnancy- feeling your baby move, if you have not done so already. It feels like bubbly movements inside your body. Your baby is starting to move about and the feelings come from the movement this causes in the amniotic fluid. While some women notice “quickening” as early as 16 weeks, many don’t feel their baby move until about 18 weeks or more. 

Your body

The increased blood volume might cause you to have stuffy nose or even nose bleed. You could notice the veins in your arms, legs and breasts becoming more visible.

 As your tummy grows, you may experience issues of feeling imbalanced when walking up or down stairs. This is because your centre of gravity starts to shift with your growing bump.  It is a good idea to begin wearing low heeled shoes now on, to avoid falls or accidents. The uterus will start to move up your intestines and also to the side of the abdomen. If you stand for a long time, the baby will put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause leg cramps. Other symptoms that you may experience this week are dizziness, indigestion, heartburn, flatulence, and headaches. Refer to our section on second trimester symptoms to get some tips on how to ease your discomforts.

You may notice that your breasts have changed considerably since your pregnancy began. More blood is flowing to the breasts, which increases their size. Buy supportive bras in a variety of sizes to accommodate your breast growth during pregnancy.

Some women become depressed during pregnancy. This can adversely affect the health of both mother and baby. It is therefore advisable to recognise the symptoms of depression and seek help as early as possible. Women who are depressed can be helped by therapy. Symptoms of depression are persistent sadness, difficulty concentrating, sleeping too little, feeling of hopelessness, loss of appetite, anxiety about future, feeling of worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. It is important that depression be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Most women experience anxiety and sadness during pregnancy. However, if your symptoms persist, seek advice from your doctor and share your feelings with your closed ones.

Your baby

Your baby has begun to practise breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. She is now putting on weight more rapidly. She may be grasping the umbilical cord from time to time. She is turning and kicking like a little acrobat, even though you may only feel what seems like a tummy rumble. Your baby’s weight has doubled in the last two weeks yet she is still the size of your palm. This week her toenails are beginning to grow from the nail beds. At this time, the skeletal system takes on a more structured appearance. The cartilage in the skeleton is being replaced by bone. The joints are allowing for more flexible movement, which could result in kicking rather than fluttering. The baby is now moving around enthusiastically hence, playing music is a great way to begin the bonding with the infant because at this point the baby can hear sound. Also, during this week the cerebral cortex has developed and the connections between the nerves and muscles are beginning to form.


Just because you are pregnant, it doesn’t mean you have to wear a tent! There’s a wide range of maternity clothes available in stores or online. Don’t rush out and buy too many outfits at this stage though. You have still got some growing up to do, and you can’t predict how that growing will go!  Maternity clothes can be expensive when you consider they are worn for such a short time. Borrow where you can, and look out for second- hand bargains to see you through the couple of months.


Is there any over the counter medicine for cough and cold that I can take during my pregnancy?

Always assume that all medicines are unsafe during pregnancy unless advised by your doctor. Avoid over the counter anti-allergics, cough syrups, or aspirin. These medicines can harm your baby. You can take paracetamol, provided you do so occasionally. Don’t exceed the recommended dose. Drink plenty of water and make hot ginger, honey and lemon drinks to aid decongestion. If symptoms persist, talk to your doctor before taking any medicine.

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