Brave New Motherhood
17 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms & What to Know

second trimester of pregnancy

17 weeks pregnant is month 4 of pregnancy, and you're only about 23 weeks away from your due date. At week 17, you may start to experience a few aches and pains and an increase in bodily fluids like sweat and vaginal discharge.

Are you starting to show? As your belly becomes more prominent, friends, coworkers, and even strangers might feel compelled to touch your growing bump. Be sure to speak up if you feel uncomfortable.

Your baby at 17 weeks is the size of a large onion. Your growing baby has begun to develop body fat, which will continue to accumulate through the end of your pregnancy.

Fun fact: By this point in your pregnancy, your blood volume has increased by 50%! That extra blood and plasma are helping your baby reach optimal growth and development. 

how big is my baby at

 

17 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

Increased Appetite

Gone are the days when the thought of eating made you nauseous, and replacing them is a seemingly insatiable appetite. Most pregnant women report a hearty increase in appetite during the second trimester. Your body is understanding that your baby is getting bigger -- and hungrier too! Listen to your hunger cues, and try to choose foods that are high in protein and other nutrients to keep you feeling fuller longer. Try these great pregnancy snacks!

Not sure how much weight gain you should expect during pregnancy? Talk to your doctor or midwife about how much weight you should gain while pregnant, particularly if you’re concerned you’re gaining too much weight, gaining too little weight, or even losing weight (which can occur during the first trimester due to morning sickness). 

Stretch Marks

Up to 90 percent of women experience this pregnancy symptom, but did you know that it’s hereditary? If your biological mother experienced stretch marks then you likely will too. 

While stretch marks typically appear toward the end of the second trimester, don’t be alarmed if you start to notice these pink, red, brown, and sometimes purplish streaks earlier. Stretch marks are most likely to appear across your belly, butt, thighs, hips, or breasts. 

Stretch marks are nothing to be ashamed of, but if you prefer to minimize their appearance, moisturizing with a stretch mark oil or stretch mark cream, like our Certified Organic Belly Balm, and eating foods rich in vitamin C and vitamin D are good places to start. Stretch marks usually fade or lighten on their own.

best belly balm

Itchy Skin

Another common pregnancy symptom is mild itchiness. You may feel your skin is itchier where it’s starting to stretch, like around your breasts and belly. Pregnancy can also worsen skin conditions like eczema. 

For cooling relief, try putting a fragrance-free lotion in the freezer for a few minutes before applying it. Warm oatmeal baths can also be great. 

If you’re very itchy or develop a rash, talk to your health care provider.

More skin changes: Have you noticed tiny red marks on your face, shoulders, and arms? These temporary red marks, which can occur when you have a lot of estrogen in your system, are called spider nevi and may be caused by dilated blood vessels.

Vision Changes

Does your vision seem blurrier? Vision changes are common in pregnancy. Your eyes are easily impacted by the changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation, resulting in blurry or dry eyes. 

While these symptoms are usually minor and go away after you have your baby, they may be caused by a more serious condition.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), spots or blurry vision may be a sign of preeclampsia. Be sure to talk to your midwife or doctor if you’re experiencing blurry vision, double vision, temporary loss of vision, or anything else unusual. 

Weird Dreams

Hormones and intense emotions may be to blame for this pregnancy symptom. No matter how weird you think your dreams are, vivid dreams, sex dreams, and nightmares are all completely normal. 

Craving some insight into how you’re feeling? Jot down as much as you can remember about your dreams when you wake up so that you can reflect on them later.

Leg Cramps

Weird dreams and general discomfort aren't the only pregnancy symptoms disrupting your sleep during the second trimester. Leg cramps are common in pregnancy. While the cause of these leg cramps is unknown, staying hydrated and doing physical activity should help you manage this symptom.

pregnancy leg cramps

Baby on Board

At 17 weeks, your baby is measuring just over 5 inches long and weighs about 5 ounces. Your baby has also started to develop their very own fingerprints! These fingerprints will have completely unique swirls and creases. 

Under Construction: Vernix

Vernix, a slick, white substance, has now formed all over your baby's skin. The vernix forms a barrier to protect your baby's skin from amniotic fluid. Fun fact: By pregnancy week 18, the layers of your baby's skin will be fully developed.

Under Construction: Your Baby’s Heart

You might notice at your next ultrasound that your baby’s heartbeat is beginning to sound more regular. That’s because their heart is now regulated by their brain. Their heartbeat should be between 140-150, about twice as fast as your own. 

Under Construction: Sucking and Swallowing

Your baby has begun to practice sucking and swallowing, two skills that will come in handy at birth. In fact, your baby is currently developing many of their survival reflexes in utero. 

french terry racerback nursing bra

What to Wear This Week

You may have noticed more changes in your breasts this week thanks to increased blood flow. Your changing bra size might be incredibly frustrating, but finding a comfortable bra that adjusts to your body can make a huge difference.

Our French Terry Racerback Nursing & Sleep Bra was the first bra with Kindred Bravely Busty sizing. While we have over 10 Busty style bras (great bras for big breasts), at this point in pregnancy, we think you’ll especially love the super-soft and stretchy fabric of our award-winning French Terry Nursing Bra. The crossover front and racerback style make this maternity bra extremely comfortable while offering light support.

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice that has been medically reviewed. Please reach out to your midwife or doctor with any questions.