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The seventeenth week of pregnancy is an important milestone as the baby’s brain undergoes rapid development, and the mother continues to experience physical changes. This period of the second trimester brings new advancements and preparations for both the baby and the mother. In this article, we will explore the key milestones that occur during the seventeenth week of pregnancy, including fetal development, physical transformations in the mother, hormonal shifts, and emotional experiences.

Fetal Development

During the seventeenth week of pregnancy, the baby experiences significant growth and developmental changes:

  1. Size and Appearance: The baby measures approximately 5.6 to 6.7 inches (14.2 to 17 centimeters) in length and weighs around 5.9 ounces (168 grams). Its body becomes more proportionate, and the baby’s features continue to refine.
  2. Brain Development: The baby’s brain undergoes rapid growth and development during this time. Neural connections multiply, and the brain’s structures become more complex.
  3. Hearing: The baby’s auditory system continues to develop, and it becomes more responsive to external sounds. It may even start recognizing familiar voices, including the mother’s and the partner’s.
  4. Limb Movements: The baby’s limb movements become more coordinated, and it can kick, stretch, and even perform somersaults. The mother may feel more pronounced and frequent movements as the baby becomes more active.
  5. Vernix Caseosa and Lanugo: The baby’s skin is covered with a white, waxy substance called vernix caseosa, which protects the delicate skin from the amniotic fluid. The fine hair known as lanugo continues to cover the body, providing insulation.


Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes continue to play a vital role in supporting the pregnancy and regulating various bodily functions:

  1. Progesterone: Progesterone levels remain high to maintain the uterine lining and support the pregnancy.
  2. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG): Although hCG levels begin to decline after the first trimester, the hormone still contributes to the maintenance of the pregnancy.

Physical Changes

During the seventeenth week of pregnancy, the mother may experience various physical changes:

  1. Visible Baby Bump: The uterus continues to expand, and the baby bump becomes more prominent. The mother may notice further growth in her abdomen and require maternity clothing for added comfort and support.
  2. Skin Changes: Some women may notice changes in their skin, such as the appearance of stretch marks, increased oiliness, or changes in pigmentation. The darkening of the linea nigra, a vertical line on the abdomen, may become more noticeable.
  3. Breast Changes: The breasts may continue to grow in size and become more tender. The nipples and areolas may darken further, and the Montgomery’s tubercles may become more pronounced.
  4. Weight Gain: The mother will likely continue to gain weight as the baby grows. It’s important to follow appropriate guidelines for healthy weight gain during pregnancy and consult with healthcare providers.

Emotional Changes

The seventeenth week of pregnancy can bring about various emotional changes for the mother:

  1. Bonding with the Baby: As the baby’s movements become more pronounced, the mother may feel a stronger emotional connection and a deepening bond with her unborn child. Talking to and gently touching the baby bump can enhance this sense of connection.
  2. Body Image and Self-Esteem: Some women may experience changes in body image and self-esteem during pregnancy. It’s important to focus on the marvel of creating new life and to practice self-care and self-acceptance.
  3. Mixed Emotions: Pregnancy can evoke a range of emotions, including excitement, joy, occasional worries, and occasional mood swings. It’s normal to experience this mix of emotions as the journey continues.


The seventeenth week of pregnancy is marked by rapid brain development for the baby and continued physical changes in the mother’s body. As the baby grows, the mother’s bond deepens, and she may experience a range of emotions. It’s important for the mother to take care of her physical and emotional well-being while enjoying this special time in her pregnancy journey.


Aman k. Kashyap

I am a hard-working and driven medical student who isn't afraid to face any challenge. I'm passionate about my work . I would describe myself as an open and honest person who doesn't believe in misleading other people and tries to be fair in everything I do.

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