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17 weeks pregnant - what's happening

Your baby is about 12cm long, and weighs roughly 150g. Your bump is getting bigger.

17 weeks infographic.

What does my baby look like?

Your baby is about 12cm long, and weighs roughly 150g. Your bump is getting bigger.

If you could see your baby’s tiny face, you’d notice eyelashes and eyebrows starting to grow. And if you could take their hand, you’d see they already have a unique fingerprint. Amazing.

Before this point, your baby’s head was bigger in proportion to their body. Now, however, their body is starting to fill out, and their proportions are starting to even out. 

Your baby’s eyes can move, although their eyelids are still shut, and won’t open again until week 26. The bone tissue in their tiny feet begins to harden.

The placenta continues to grow to keep up with your baby's needs. By the time you give birth it will weigh about 500g.

Your symptoms - what's happening

Do you have swollen feet? Suffering from pelvic pain or headaches?

Here’s our guide to 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them).

Bump watch

Your waist will start to disappear as your womb moves up out of your pelvis and your bump becomes more noticeable. If you've been pregnant before, your bump may start showing a bit sooner than for first-time mums. Have you thought about keeping a bump diary and taking pictures each week?

How are you feeling?

You may start to feel happier and more confident as your bump becomes more noticeable and you start to feel baby move. Some women and men find that their pregnancy suddenly feels more real when they first see the baby at a scan.

You may also have more energy to enjoy getting out and about more.

However, pregnancy can make worries about money or relationships feel bigger. As many as one in 10 expectant mums feel stressed and anxious.

Pregnancy hormones can often be to blame, not to mention coping with health issues, worrying about giving birth and the responsibilities of parenthood.

If you’re feeling stressed and anxious, or suffering from depression, don’t hesitate to tell your midwife. They are there to talk about your mental wellbeing in pregnancy, as well as your physical health.

Top tips for looking after your wellbeing.

Actions to take

Do I need to eat for two?

You may be wondering what to eat, or how much. No matter what well-meaning future grandparents might say - you don’t need to eat for two during pregnancy. Your baby takes everything he or she needs from your body, and will grow well without you taking in any extra calories at all until the last three months.

Once you reach six months, you may need an extra 200 calories a day, which is around half a sandwich.

Suffering from a loss of appetite? Here are 10 super snacks to help your baby grow.

Are you getting enough vitamin D?

All pregnant women should take a 10 microgram supplement of vitamin D each day to give your baby enough vitamin D for the first few months of life. Without it, there is a risk that your child will have soft bones, which can lead to rickets (a disease that affects bone development in children).

Find out about more vital supplements in pregnancy.

Aerobics in pregnancy

Aerobics is great for your heart and lungs and improves muscle strength. If you’ve been doing aerobics, you can carry on while you’re pregnant.

If you’re new to it, tell the instructor you’re pregnant and start with just 15 minutes' continuous exercise three times a week. Increase this gradually to a maximum of four 30-minute sessions a week.

“I exercised throughout both my pregnancies, right up until my due date. I was more tired in the second pregnancy, because I was running around after my daughter, but I always did something active because it made me feel better.”

Anna, mum of two

Find out more about when to be careful when exercising in pregnancy

Free prescriptions and NHS dental care

If you haven't yet applied for your maternity exemption certificate - which you can use to get free NHS dental treatment and free prescriptions - ask your doctor or midwife about it.

You'll need to fill in a form FW8, which they will be able to give you. Read our frequently asked questions about drugs and medicines in pregnancy.

Download our pregnancy and post-birth wellbeing plan (PDF).

Sources

1. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Johnathan Cape, p.174

2. NHS Choices (2013). You and your pregnancy at 17-20 weeks pregnant. NHS choices 2013; accessed online at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-17-18-19-20.aspx#close on 08.05.2015

3. NHS Choices (2013). You and your pregnancy at 17-20 weeks pregnant. NHS choices 2013; accessed online at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-17-18-19-20.aspx#close on 08.05.2015

4. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Johnathan Cape, p.186 & 189

5. NHS Choices (2013). You and your pregnancy at 17-20 weeks pregnant. NHS choices 2013; accessed online at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-17-18-19-20.aspx#close on 08.02.2015

6. NICE (2010). Weight management before, during and after pregnancy. NICE 2010; accessed online at: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph27/resources/guidance-weight-management-before-during-and-after-pregnancy-pdf on 07.02.2015

7. RCOG Exercise in Pregnancy (RCOG Statement 4) http://www.rcog.org.uk/womens-health/clinical-guidance/exercise-pregnancy

8. Exercise in pregnancy, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-exercise.aspx [accessed 23 February 2015] (last reviewed: 9 February 2015; next review due: 9 February 2017)

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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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Comments

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 - 09:02

    Hi. Im 17+2 weeks pregnant and all of a sudden I dont feel any movements. I constantly feel ill. I cant quite say whats wrong. Ive also had light bleeding and severe pain. So bad yesterday I couldnt stand
    up. I had complications in my 1st pregnancy and im scared something is horribly wrong. Ive also got sciatica and I cant sleep due to the pain im in. What should I do?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Oct 2017 - 12:00

    Hi, I am sorry to hear that you are feeling ill and experiencing a worrying time in this pregnancy. Babies movements at 17 weeks of pregnancy can come and go, we would not expect to feel movements in a pattern or regularly until about 24 weeks however this does vary. You said that you were experiencing light bleeding and severe pain yesterday, even if this has resolved today it is very important that you are reviewing at the hospital if you have not been already. Just ring your maternity unit and explain your symptoms and go in to make sure everything is ok. It is understandable that you are scared particularly if your 1st pregnancy had complications but it is important that you see someone. If we can support you then please call us 0800 0147 800 or email [email protected]

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 19 Sep 2017 - 19:45

    I'm worried I'm not showing and my stomach is not hard and I'm 17weeks pregnant

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Sep 2017 - 10:05

    Hi Jane,
    every woman will carry her pregnancy differently. At 17 weeks, you may only have a small bump or not much or a bump at all. It would not be expected for your stomach to "be hard", it would very much still be soft and fleshy at this time. If you are concerned, you can ask your midwife to measure your tummy at your next antenatal appointment to make sure your bump is growing according to the gestational age. Please do take care of yourself! : )

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 18 Sep 2017 - 13:23

    I'm 17 weeks and I always have nose bleed,is that normal?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Sep 2017 - 14:12

    Hi - Thank you for your message.
    Nosebleeds are quite common in pregnancy because of hormonal changes. They are usually short, but can be quite heavy. Nosebleeds can be frightening, but as long as you don't lose a lot of blood, there is nothing to worry about, and they can often be treated at home.
    If the bleeding doesn't stop, seek medical advice.
    You can also talk to your midwife or GP if you're worried about your nosebleeds.
    Best Wishes

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 - 19:37

    Hi
    I'm 17 weeks pregnant, I fell movements only for two hours in the afternoon .
    Why am I not felling frequently

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Aug 2017 - 17:03

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.

    It can be very normal for you to feel movements on and off at this time in your pregnancy. Babies can move then have a rest for a bit then move, the afternoon maybe the time when you baby is more active. As your pregnancy progressed then you will feel the movements are more defined as baby gets bigger and stronger. If you are at all worried about movements then it is important that you seek medical advice. If you have any abdominal pain or bleeding or any concerns at all about your pregnancy then please contact your GP or midwife who will be able to give you reassurance. Take care Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 - 16:42

    Hey, I'm 17weeks and not feeling pregnant due to not having symptoms. Is that normal? no movement, I have an appointment Wednesday an don't want to be disappointed

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Aug 2017 - 15:43

    Hi, Thank you for you comment.

    It can be very normal not to experience any symptoms of pregnancy. Every woman is different and this doesn't mean that there is a problem. With regards to the movements, again these can be felt anytime from around 16 weeks, which is different for everyone. It is understandable that you are anxious but there is nothing to suggest that there is anything wrong at this time. Be kind to yourself and rest when you can. If you are worried then you can always contact your GP or community midwife for further reassurance, but please feel reassured that not having pregnancy symptoms means that there is a problem, it can be very normal. Hope that this helps, Take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 21 Aug 2017 - 22:36

    I'm 17 weeks pregnant i have constant back pain ALWAYS. I always feel like vomiting, forever tired, lazy almost every time. This doesn't feel like the honeymoon stage.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Aug 2017 - 14:56

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.
    Quite a lot of articles and books that you read in pregnancy say that your pregnancy symptoms can get better after 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is not always the case for some women. Some may have symptoms of nausea, vomiting and fatigue up to 20 weeks, whilst some will have it the whole way through the pregnancy, everyone is different and there is no general rule. With regards to your back pain, do you have any stinging or pain when you pass urine? This could be a sign of a urine infection, which again can be common in pregnancy and make you feel unwell. If you are still in pain and feeling generally unwell it may be advisable that you make an appointment to see your GP so that you can be assessed and treated if needed, if this pain is getting worse or you have any abdominal pain or bleeding then you need to be seen urgently at the hospital. If you are concerned about anything then please seek medical advice. Hope you feel better soon, take care Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 8 Aug 2017 - 17:47

    I feel too much back pain and abdominal cramping is that okey?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Aug 2017 - 09:08

    Hi Merry.
    Abdominal pain and cramping at any gestation of pregnancy needs to be investigated as this is not normal. You should either make urgent contact with your GP or your local early pregnancy assessment unit, or a&e minors if the pain is unbearable and if you are bleeding heavily. Please take good care of yourself!

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 7 Aug 2017 - 17:40

    I am 17 weeks pregnant, a few weeks ago I had bleeding& pains for about 2day. I also haven't started to get a bump, my belly isn't getting hard and I haven't felt any type of movement, is this anything to worry about?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Aug 2017 - 08:57

    Hi Courtney.
    Any bleeding or abdominal pain, at any gestation of pregnancy, should be investigated - it might be sensible to get reviewed if you have not already done so for your peace of mind.
    At 17 weeks of pregnancy, you may or may not have started to get a bump. Every woman carries differently, so please do not worry about this. You should be booked into see your midwife at around 18 weeks gestation, so you will be reviewed there too. Please take good care of yourself and feel free to contact us again if you need further advice.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 28 May 2017 - 10:45

    Am 17 week pregnant and emotional down,I keep quarrelling with my husband he is now fed up with me.pls what should I do .Moreover I can't feel my baby movement this is my first pregnancy

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 31 May 2017 - 09:39

    Hi Cindy
    The first fetal movements will occur between 17-24 weeks. It can be difficult to be able to feel the first fetal movements in your first pregnancy, meaning that it is likely that you will feel them later on in your pregnancy. If you are only 17 weeks now, then this is nothing to be concerned about currently - you will soon start to recognise some movement - flutters, bubbles etc.
    Feeling emotional during pregnancy can be very common- it would be a good idea to speak to both your GP and your midwife about this so that they can offer you more antenatal support and appointments. They can also refer you onto local support services if this is something that you would be happy to have.
    Please do also feel free to call us on 0800 0147800 to have a chat about things if you feel that this would help.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 16 May 2017 - 12:49

    I have not visited any anti natal and have not used any vitamin supplement is it dangerous for my baby?and when can I go for a scan to know the sex of my baby.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 17 May 2017 - 09:22

    Hi there,
    You should urgently make a GP appointment to be referred to your local midwifery services. (You can also contact your local midwives for an appointment via your local hospitals website) You should have had a booking appointment with your midwife by 12 weeks and your first scan should have been around that time too.
    Taking pregnancy vitamins are not vital, but they are encouraged to help give you and your growing baby a little boost to the nutrients that you both need to have a healthy pregnancy. If you decide that you want to take these, they are available from all pharmacy's and supermarkets.
    Please take good care of yourself and get yourself seen and booked in with a midwife as soon as possible!

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 12 May 2017 - 05:08

    I am 17 weeks, I am very much emotionally depressed. I am not feeling like to do any thing like, go out, wear make up, grooming, talking to family or friends. I just want to stay in my room. As if very thing is colourless. I can not think any thing except my baby my all the focus, thoughts and concentration end on my baby only. I can not understand what should I do. I am a working lady and now a days I am very quite on my job as well as at home :(

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 May 2017 - 10:19

    Thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you are feeling depressed. I am concerned that you do not want to go out, talk to family or friends, are not grooming or wearing make-up and just want to stay in your room.
    Is there anyone you would be able to talk to about these
    feelings?
    I hope by now that you have started your antenatal care and have met your midwife team, also that everything is going well with the pregnancy
    It is very normal to want to focus on your growing baby but you should also be able to enjoy your life and the pregnancy.
    I would strongly advise you to make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible to discuss these feelings so that they can advise some treatment such as counselling that can help you feel better. You can also contact your midwife as they can also refer you to local support services.
    Please do this sooner rather than later to help you start feeling better
    I have attached some links with more information that you may find helpful
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/mental-wellbeing/wellbeing-plan

    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/mental-wellbeing/getting-help-and-support

    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/mental-wellbeing/how-stressed-or-anxious-should-i-be-i-get-help

    I hope this helps.
    Please do not hesitate to contact us again or call our helpline
    0800 0147 800
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 25 Apr 2017 - 14:45

    I am almost 17 weeks with flu like symptoms the last 3 days . Missedy 16 week midwife appt .

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Apr 2017 - 09:32

    Very sorry to hear that you are feeling unwell. Please remember to contact your midwife team and arrange to be seen as soon as you can. The 16 week appointment is important to ensure that all tests have been done and that blood results are filed in your notes to ensure continuity of care. You may also get a chance to listen to your baby's heartbeat. We hope you feel better soon. Tommy's midwives

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 22 Mar 2017 - 17:27

    I am 17 weeks and 5 days. I've been feeling small movements since the very end of my 15th week; every couple of days they became stronger. The past 3 or so days the movements have been less, and I'm worried. Is everything okay?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Mar 2017 - 14:34

    Hi , It is probably too early for the fetal movements to have formed a recognisable pattern yet and I am sure that you are aware that many women don't feel any movements until after 20 weeks. That said, you have the option to call your midwife and ask that she/he listens to the fetal heart with a sonicaid (hand held Doppler) for your reassurance. I expect that you will have an anomaly scan very soon which will be a detailed scan of the baby and placenta. This is normally done between 18 and 22 weeks. Don't hesitate to call if you require more information. Best wishes

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Mar 2017 - 14:56

    Always have a headache and tired

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Mar 2017 - 09:42

    Hi Lindiwe.
    If you are feeling constantly tired and have headaches, it is vitally important that you visit a midwife at your local hospital. You may need to take iron if your iron levels in your blood are low, feeling tired can be asign of this.
    Having a constant headache can be a sign of pre-eclampsia too, so you may needs blood taking for that too. Please take yourself in urgently to be reviewed on your local labour ward or triage. Please take good care of yourself

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Jan 2017 - 16:10

    Hi, we really appreciate your feedback.
    Many thanks
    Tommy's Midwives

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 18 Jan 2017 - 14:36

    Am well informed nd very happy for this information

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