Pregnancy Week by Week

What to Expect When 17 Weeks Pregnant

You are 17 weeks pregnant -- you're into your fifth month! Your baby is now 4.4 to 4.8 inches long and weighs about 3.5 ounces.
 
Changes that are occurring in your baby around this time include the following:
 
  • White fatty material, called myelin, begins to enclose the nerve fibers of the spinal cord.
  • Lanugo (a soft, fine hair) covers your baby's shoulders, back, and temples.
  • Your baby's lungs are beginning to "breathe" the amniotic fluid (although the placenta will still supply the necessary oxygen until he or she is born).
 
You may begin to feel your baby move at this point. Other common changes that you may notice by week 17 of pregnancy include:
 
  • Obvious swelling in your lower abdomen
  • A 5- to 10-pound increase in weight gain
  • An increase in appetite.
 
(Click 17 Weeks Pregnant for more information.)
 

Pregnancy Week by Week: 18 Weeks

When you are 18 weeks pregnant, your baby's growth is beginning to slow down. During this week of your pregnancy, your baby measures about 5 to 5.6 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 5.25 ounces. You may have an ultrasound between week 18 and week 22 of your pregnancy to assess your baby's fetal development. Your doctor may also use the ultrasound to verify your pregnancy due date.
 
At this point in your baby's development:
 
  • The skeleton can be clearly outlined on x-rays of the fetus
  • Ears stand out from the head
  • Pads are forming on the fingertips and toes
  • The eyes are looking forward rather than out the sides of the head
  • Your baby's bones begin to ossify, or harden
  • Your baby's taste buds are beginning to develop, allowing them to distinguish sweet from bitter.
     
You may want to begin your search for a pediatrician for your child at this point in your pregnancy.
 
(Click 18 Weeks Pregnant for more information.)
 
Pregnancy and Pain

Week by Week Pregnancy

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