At 17 weeks pregnant your baby is now the size of a small melon, about 5 inches (14cm) long crown to rump and would be about 9 inches (23cm) head to toe, if it could stretch out. It is growing rapidly.
The skeleton is hardening from rubbery cartilage to bone and brown fat is accumulating around the skeleton. This brown fat is crucial for body heat generation. The joints are fully mobile and are constantly being exercised.
The umbilical cord, your baby’s lifeline to the placenta, is thickening and strengthening. At this stage the foetus weighs about five ounces and is five inches long. Sweat glands are forming and the skin is still very thin and transparent.
In the next few weeks your baby’s eyes will start to move from side to side beneath the still-fused eyelids.
You may sometimes feel a little off-balance as your centre of gravity is changing. Remember to compensate for this, perhaps by wearing low-heeled shoes instead of high heels, and try to avoid situations where you could fall over.
When travelling in a car use a three-point seat belt and make sure the diagonal strap is between your breasts, resting on your shoulder, breastbone and over your bump. Place the lap belt across your thighs, under you bump.
At 17 weeks pregnant your eyes may start to feel dry and uncomfortable so have some lubricating eye-drops at hand.
Avoid wearing contact lenses for long periods of time and perhaps consider switching to glasses for the rest of your pregnancy.
What to expect at week 18 of your pregnancy...