17 weeks pregnant. It is around now that if you are in a stressful job or have high stress levels that you need to try and bring these stress levels down. Some studies have indicated that high levels of stress particularly between weeks 17 and 20 can result in preterm labour.
The fetus is about 5 inches long now from head to rump and weighs about 145 grams. The baby will begin to form fat under his skin which is important for heat production and metabolism. On delivery the fat will account for 2-6% of the baby's total body weight. This will help maintain his body temperature when he is born.
The baby's cerebral cortex has started to mature and connections between the nerves and muscles are being established. A protective substance called myelin slowly begins to wrap around the spinal cord. With the help of a special stethoscope, you can now hear your baby's heartbeat.
The cartilage making up the skeleton in your baby's body is starting to transform into bone. At week 17 your baby should be hearing things and large sounds could startle him.
There may have been some changes in your breasts. Your nipples may have enlarged, and the skin around them (the areola) may darken. Your veins will be more prominent because of the extra blood flow. The increased blood supply to support the baby could cause nosebleeds.
Your uterus should now be about 1.5 to 2 inches below your bellybutton, so you should be showing a little in your lower abdomen.
You should try to eliminate as much stress from your life as possible or at least take measures to reduce your stress levels from now until the baby is born. Stress can have a devastating impact on pregnancy and childbirth.
There are some studies that suggest that stress can contribute to complications during pregnancy, including premature labour. Some studies have also indicated that high levels of stress particularly between weeks 17 and 20 can result in higher levels of a hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone, which has been linked to preterm labour.
My Experience at 17 weeks
There was not much change from week 16, I do suffer from stress as my partner and myself have our own business, so trying to continue with the mountain of work and get enough rest is a very hard balance to find. So this week in particular I have been trying to take things a bit more easy and realise that I am not super woman and try and now take rest as and when I feel it is needed.