Week 17 of pregnancy | The hair is starting to grow

Verified by

Maria Midstam

Midwife

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    Week 17 of pregnancy | The hair is starting to grow

    Verified by

    Maria Midstam

    Midwife

    In this article you will be able to read about everything related to your pregnancy in week 17. Here you'll find information on the development of the baby, how the mother's body is changing and the tips you may need along the way. When you are 17 weeks pregnant, the fetus is the size of a pear.

    Baby: The skeleton gets harder and harder

    The baby is now about 15 cm long and weighs around 180 grams.

    From the second trimester onwards, measurements of what is known as BDP (measurement of a part of the head) and FL (femur length) can be used as a starting point for dating. This means determining how far along the pregnancy is by measuring the size of the fetal head and femur.

    Fetal growth

    Until 22 weeks of pregnancy, the assumption is that all fetuses grow equally and are the same size in the same week of pregnancy. What differs is when during each week the growth occurs. After 22 weeks of pregnancy, you can see that the weight starts to vary more from child to child.

    Routine ultrasound (RUL)

    By this time, you should have received an appointment for an ultrasound. It is usually carried out between weeks 18-20 and is called a routine ultrasound, which is offered to all pregnant women in Sweden.

    During the routine ultrasound, an ultrasound midwife checks how many fetuses are in the womb, the appearance of the organs and extremities (arms and legs) and dates the pregnancy if it has not been done before. This examination focuses on the organs and anatomy. The heart and the vessels to and from the heart are examined. However, it is the small organs that are examined and assessed/measured. If not everything can be seen and measured, a follow-up appointment will be booked close by for a full ultrasound examination.

    The midwife also looks at what the placenta looks like, where it is positioned in the uterus and how many vessels there are in the umbilical cord. If you have a low-lying placenta, you may need to check its position again later in pregnancy. In some cases, the placenta may cover the entrance to the uterus, but often the placenta moves upwards as the baby and the uterus grow.

    The vessels in the umbilical cord are usually three in number and consist of veins and arteries. The routine ultrasound aims to detect any abnormalities, and it is useful to see if the vessels in the umbilical cord are of normal composition. For example, if a vessel is missing, there may be a reason to investigate further to see if it is linked to some other abnormality in development or organ formation.

    Myoma

    The ultrasound can also show whether there are benign muscle nodules in the uterus (known as fibroids). A fibroid may be known beforehand and a previous ultrasound will often have confirmed where it is growing and the size of the fibroid. The fibroid will then be monitored during pregnancy to see if it is covering the mother's mouth or if there is a risk that it would somehow be an obstacle to a vaginal birth. If so, the birth will be planned together with an obstetrician.

    The size of the baby and the growth of the fibroid will also be monitored depending on the medical plan made by the doctor at the beginning of the pregnancy. If the fibroid is detected during pregnancy, a medical assessment is made depending on the size and location of the growth. Individual plans

    If the fibroid is detected early in pregnancy, a doctor will assess it depending on its size and where it is growing. While fibroids are not uncommon during pregnancy and grow in size, they are less likely to cause problems during pregnancy.

    Pregnant women with fibroids are assessed individually and different regions have different guidelines for this.

    Child development

    In week 17, the fetal nails develop and the hair starts to grow. The skin is reddish and wrinkled, but still partly transparent. Subcutaneous fat begins to accumulate, which helps the baby to stay warm after birth. At the same time, fetal fat begins to form and forms a protective layer on top of the baby's skin. The earlier the baby is born, the more fetal fat remains on the skin at birth.

    The fetus' bones are getting stronger and the nervous system is becoming more coordinated. During the upcoming ultrasound, the development of the foetus will be visible as it moves with more synchronized movements. You may not be able to feel the fetus moving, but many women associate fetal movements with bowel movements. Therefore, it can be difficult to feel the differences at this stage.

    Even though the fetus is surrounded by amniotic fluid that reduces the level of noise, the fetus in this week may react to sudden noises near the belly. Don't scare the fetus unnecessarily, but as you get closer to the end of your pregnancy, you may be able to feel it jerk if a sudden noise occurs in your vicinity. How cool is that?

    Mother: 17 weeks pregnant

    The area between the pubic bone and a few centimeters below the navel is the area where the uterus is now taking up residence, so if you feel something in that area of your belly, it's most likely fetal movement! Many women associate fetal movement with tingling bubbles and bowel movements, especially if you are expecting your first child.

    Back and pelvic pain and discomfort

    Even if you are not exerting yourself, it is normal to feel short of breath. This is because your heart is pumping more blood than usual. As your belly continues to grow, you may also feel a new type of fatigue or pain in your pelvis, back, groin and/or hips. Some of this pain may be pelvic pain, which is commonly referred to as pelvic pain.

    This pain can occur when the pelvic joints are softened by a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin is secreted to widen the pelvis and make it more mobile in preparation for birth, so that the baby can pass smoothly. If you experience this pain, you should talk to your midwife, physiotherapist or doctor.

    If you notice fatigue or pain in your back, it's probably because your muscles haven't been trained in the same way in relation to constantly carrying a growing baby. It is also easy to have an increased sway or change in posture during pregnancy. One tip is to do mobility exercises and train the muscles in the seat, legs, back and inner torso to strengthen and relieve the pain.

    Clothing during pregnancy

    If you haven't already bought maternity clothes, maybe now is the time to do so? For some, it takes a while before that need appears and for others, it's long overdue. Remember that how your stomach and the rest of your body react to pregnancy varies from woman to woman!

    The selection of maternity clothes may seem small compared to what you are used to. It can feel boring to spend money on pregnancy clothes when you know that the garments will only be used for a short period of time... But something many people don't think about is that many of the garments are ones that you could use after the birth as well! Then it can be nice to use clothes that are not too tight. Pregnancy pants with high cushioning can be particularly comfortable to use after giving birth, even bras that are adapted for breastfeeding and have a small extra flap at the back where you button the bra, so that the circumference can become larger in line with the growing belly that can eventually bulge as high as the bra's underwire.

    Dresses, sweaters and shirts with buttons that are not too tight are great during pregnancy and if you plan to breastfeed after giving birth.

    You can also swap with friends in your area, ask around in different communities if anyone wants to sell their maternity clothes or buy clothes in the regular department but go up in size! Some people think it's great fun to have a maternity wardrobe and others not at all. Customize according to your desire and needs.

    Tips!

    If your regular pants fit but are starting to get a little tight at the waist, you can use a hair tie that you attach between the button and the opening. With a larger sweater as a top, the gap in the cord will not be visible and you can wait a while longer to wear maternity pants.

    Here you can read about week 16.

    Here you can read about week 18.

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