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Week 17 of Pregnancy

Written by Amina Hatia RM
Medically reviewed by Marley Hall BA RM Diphe
January 25, 2022

If you haven’t already, by week 17 of pregnancy your bump will be starting to become a lot more prominent – not just that is it/isn’t it bloating kind of look!  Your baby is continuing to grow and develop, but you’ll also notice changes in yourself too – such as your hair, skin, emotions and of course your waistline!

How big is my baby? The growing is continuing – your baby is now roughly around the size of a juicy gem of a Pomegranate.  Your baby is now measuring around 12 centimetres in length and weighs around 150 grams.

What happens in week 17 of pregnancy?

Your precious pomegranate sized baby’s development continues – they are looking more and more in proportion – such as the rest of the body catching up in size with their head. 

Your baby’s features are now more obvious and pronounced – so if you could see them close up you’ll notice a button nose or rosebud lips maybe!

In even more detail, their fingernails are growing – you’ll be surprised how many babies are born with longer fingernails – even more amazingly your baby also has their very own unique fingerprint too!

They can also move their eyes – although they won’t be opening them anytime soon, but their eyebrows and lashes are now framing their eyes.

Week 17 pregnancy symptoms

Dizziness – Dizziness isn’t uncommon as a pregnancy symptom and one that often starts happening in the second trimester for many.  It’s caused by the impact of a growing pregnancy on your body and related mainly to your circulatory system and blood flow.

Progesterone, a pregnancy hormone can cause your blood vessels to relax and widen to ensure that there is adequate blood flow to baby – which is great.  However, it can impact you by slowing blood flow for you, resulting in your blood pressure dropping – and then leading you to feel dizzy. 

Similarly, the extra heat you feel when pregnant – that walking central heating system you are carrying in you, can also cause you to feel lightheaded and dizzy.

In later pregnancy, the pressure of a growing baby, the uterus, the placenta, the amniotic fluid surrounding your baby on your blood vessels can also cause you to feel dizzy, especially when you’re lying on your back.

If you are feeling dizzy – the best thing to do is let your midwife know, discuss with them how you are feeling and they can carry out any necessary checks on you for conditions such as anaemia with a blood test. 

You’ll also be advised to take some self help steps too such as:

  • Getting up slowly – from bed or sitting down – as this can sometimes cause your blood pressure to drop, causing dizziness.
  • Eat enough – small meals, little and often will help stop any peaks and dips in your blood sugar.  Make sure you don’t go hungry for too long – so carry fruit or healthy snacks with you.  A healthy, well-rounded diet during pregnancy will ensure you are maintaining stable blood sugar levels.
  • Drink plenty of water – dehydration can cause dizziness, so make sure you are getting enough fluids into you.  Ideally you should be drinking around 12 to 13 glasses of fluids daily – try and ensure water is most of it and avoid caffeinated drinks.

Fainting – alongside feeling dizziness, sometimes you may also find that you feel faint and occasionally even have a fainting episode.  Whilst worrying, try not to worry too much about feeling faint – it is caused mainly due to hormonal changes, as well as some of the reasons already discussed. 

Again discuss how you are feeling with your midwife who can advise and support you.  Further information  and advice on what to do if you feel faint can be found on the NHS website here:

Week 17 pregnancy tips

  • How’s your appetite doing? – If you’ve experienced 1st trimester sickness and are now finding it’s disappeared, then you may find that the appetite is back with a vengeance.  Remember you don’t need to eat for two – but eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water will help you continue to enjoy the second trimester.
  • Have you started planning for baby’s arrival – as you edge towards the halfway point in your pregnancy, work, financial issues, meeting the needs of your baby may all be something that you are thinking about. Check out the options for financial support if you are based in the UK in the link below: