By this week in your pregnancy, you will find yourself much more relaxed and feeling much more comfortable. You body has adjusted to the hormonal changes as well as the physical changes. Every week or month from now on may bring you more symptoms. For example, during week seventeen, you may experience a rash or some kind of allergies. These usually happen when there is a change in your diet or if you are taking a medical prescription. Talk to your doctor before taking any medication for the rashes or the allergies. There are only a handful of over the counter medications that are safe for you during the pregnancy.
By now you will more aware of the baby’s movements. You will start to feel fluttering in the belly that is the baby. If you don’t feel anything, don’t worry every woman is different. Within the next couple of weeks you will start feeling something more solid than fluttering. You may start to feel cramping or achy if you sit or stand in one place for a long period of time. These can subside by simply changing positions slowly. If you start feeling dizzy or lightheaded, lie down with your feet elevated. Try to keep up your blood sugar with small snacks during the day.
By now the baby should be approximately 6-1/2 inches long and weigh in about 4 ounces. The baby will be gaining more weight faster at the end of the pregnancy. The umbilical cord will become thicker and longer as the pregnancy progresses. The cord carries the blood and the nutrients to the baby. The baby will have adipose tissues to help regulate the baby’s temperature. By now when you look on a sonogram, you will be able to see very distinctive facial features.
The baby will start holding his or her head more upright and there are pads forming on the fingers and toes of the baby’s hands and feet. The baby’s eyes are now fully developed but they remain closed. The baby’s skeleton will start to change from all cartilage to bones and the bones will then become more flexible, this will help the baby travel through the birth canal.
The baby will be protected by a covering called vernix. The baby will develop brown fat spots under the skin that will help keep maintain the baby’s temperature when the baby is born. The baby is starting to gain noticeable weight and is now heavier than the placenta. The baby can now hear noises and voices and can jump when they are startled by a loud noise.
Changes With Your Body
By now you should be showing that baby bump. The abdomen is growing and your internal organs will soon start shifting in order to make room for the baby. The top part of the uterus has become more rounded creating the baby bump. For example, the uterus will start moving up your intestines and out to the side of your abdomen, so you will be able to feel the uterus when you are standing up rather than lying down.
You may experience aggravation of the sciatic nerve; this nerve runs down from the uterus to the foot. This is common during pregnancy, it happens when the baby is putting pressure nerve when you sit or stand for a long period of time. The best way to avoid this at night is to sleep with a pillow between your knees. This will come in handy as your pregnancy progresses.
Your body will increase secretions because of the increased amount of blood; you may experience excessive sweating as well. You may start to feel more congested because of the increased blood flow to the mucus membrane. Some women experience vaginal discharges but it is normal. If you have any questions or concerns call your doctor.
You should continue on taking the prenatal vitamins and eating a balanced diet. This isn’t always possible so taking the vitamins becomes more important than ever. You want to stay as hygienic as possible, always wear clean clothes, if you start to sweat excessive, change your clothes. You may start to shower more it will prevent may infections from starting.
What To Expect
By now, you know how you are going to feel and how to control it. The baby is still growing so your body is going to continue to go through changes so you are going to go through the normal aches and pains of pregnancy. Once you start to notice that the baby is moving then you will start to feel blessed that you are pregnant. Depending on your height and weight, you may already be showing and but every woman is different. But don’t panic, at your next doctor’s visit you can talk to him about the growth of the baby.
At every doctor’s visit you will have your blood pressure tested, along with urine tests and weight monitoring. These are all done to help protect the health of the baby. The Alpha-Fetoprotein Test or AFP is performed between the 15th and 17th week. The Triple Test is also performed; these two tests will help determine the chromosome counts for your baby. These tests are harmless blood tests; they won’t harm the baby at all.
Sometimes the doctor may do a fetal ultrasound, this can be done in 3D and 4D so you can see what your baby really looks like. The later on the pregnancy if it won’t hurt the baby. It is really impressive to see what the baby looks like. Another test that is done to test for birth defects is the Amniocentesis; this test is scary to moms because the doctor has to use a needle to insert into the uterus to get a sample of the amniotic fluid to test for the birth defects. There is always a small risk of miscarriage if the needle gets to close to the baby. Talk about your concerns to the doctor before the test.
During this week of pregnancy, you are going to have a lot of testing done. Make sure that is you have any questions that you ask your doctor. The amniocentesis is not mandatory but it is extremely helpful in determining if there are any birth defects. Talk to your partner and make your decision together. At this stage of the pregnancy, you will want to include your partner more than ever before because there are such great changes happening now and more in the coming months.