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17 Weeks Pregnant


Image: Fetal Development At 17 Weeks

Your little one is now holding her head erect and there is enough calcium in her bones for them to show up in an X-Ray! In the last two weeks her weight has increased 100% but she’s still teeny enough for you to hold in one hand. Fat begins to form this week and will continue to develop over the course of the pregnancy. The eyes face forward more, and the ears are almost in their at-birth position. Even fingerprints are developing now!

If your womb is large enough you might be feeling some flutters in your tummy. You’re probably peeing an awful lot and this is normal. However, keep in mind that cystitis (a urinary infection) is very common in pregnant women so if you feel any burning when you pee then see your doctor. Another common irritation in pregnancy is thrush. It might call for a longer than normal course of treatment, so see your GP if you suspect it.

Your bump is well and truly growing and it may be time for maternity clothes. At this stage of pregnancy normal weight gain for a woman would be about 5-10 pounds. Have a look around – there are many stylish ranges to help you say a temporary goodbye to your waist cheerfully. The important thing is to be comfortable.

Why am I experiencing bleeding gums and nosebleeds in my pregnancy?
You may notice blood when you brush your teeth, although this is usually nothing to worry about unless you are experiencing pain or redness with it. You may also find yourself experiencing nose bleeds and is this is also very common, especially when you blow your nose.

Increased pressure on your blood vessels can cause nosebleeds and bleeding gums during pregnancy. This is because your blood flow increases so much in order to support the baby that it sometimes overflows.

In addition, you may find that you often feel ‘bunged up’. This is because of a blood flow increase to your mucus membranes.

What can I do to relieve nosebleeds and bleeding gums during my pregnancy?
You should continue your routine dental care during pregnancy – although x-rays should be avoided.

When a nosebleed strikes, avoid lying down or tilting your head back as this will make it worse. Instead, softly pinch your nostrils shut for a few minutes while standing or sitting. Repeat this pinching until the nosebleed stops. If this technique isn’t effective or the nosebleeds are frequent and heavy, phone your surgery.

Use a humidifier at home to help with a blocked nose and increase your intake of fluids. You can also try using a saline nasal spray – although make sure it’s a simple saline spray as other sorts of nose sprays are unsafe for pregnant women. A little bit of petroleum jelly smeared just insider your nostrils will help to keep your skin moist.

Keep away from over-the-counter decongestants. If stuffiness is really bothering you, seek advice from your doctor or midwife.

Possible Scan at week 17
A Sexing Scan (also sometimes called a Gender Identification Scan) can be performed to find out the sex of your baby at this stage.

The baby will also be measured and your medical professional will assess his or her wellbeing. Sexing scans are highly reliable but can be more difficult if a woman is very overweight, or if the baby is in an unfavourable position.

Gender Scan or Sexing Scan

Gender Scan (Boy) Picture (Click image to enlarge)

Generally, if a healthcare professional is unsure about the sex of your baby they won’t guess. But thankfully it’s very unusual to be unable to determine the sex of the baby.

Possible Scan at Week 17
A Reassurance Scan can be performed anywhere from 14-22 weeks. It’s not usually necessary but might be advisable if you have had bleeding or have been unwell.

The baby’s head, abdomen, and leg length will be measured. The placenta can be located and the amniotic fluid and umbilical cord assessed. The measurements will be plotted on a graph which you will be given.

Reassurance Scan

Reassurance Scan Picture (Click image to enlarge)

The scan is performed through the tummy (a trans-abdominal scan), and usually takes 15-20 minutes. You don’t need to have a full bladder and no special preparation is needed. You’ll have a few pictures of the baby to take away with you.