17 Weeks Pregnant: What to expect

Dizziness typically emerges during pregnancy at approximately the 17th week, which falls within the second trimester. This can be attributed to hormonal changes, the expansion of the uterus, and the rapid growth of the circulatory system.

Meanwhile, your developing baby is practicing the skills of sucking and swallowing in preparation for breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Additionally, your baby's hearing is progressing, with ears nearing full formation and the ability to hear your voice gradually developing.

Beneath your baby's skin, fat stores are beginning to form, providing energy and insulation for your little one after birth.

If you're 17 weeks pregnant, you are in your fourth month of pregnancy, with roughly five months remaining.

At this stage, your baby weighs approximately 5 ounces and is about the size of your palm, measuring around 5 inches in length. The baby's body fat is starting to accumulate and will continue to do so until the end of the pregnancy. These fat stores will help regulate your baby's body temperature after birth.

Your baby is honing its sucking and swallowing reflexes, crucial for feeding once born, and many of the survival reflexes that your baby will have at birth are being perfected in the womb.

Unique fingerprints are forming on your baby's fingertips and toes, making your baby truly one-of-a-kind.

The fetal heart rate is more regular, now being regulated by the brain, with a heart rate of 140 to 150 beats per minute, about twice as fast as yours.

In terms of your own body changes, you may notice that people, including friends, coworkers, and even strangers, might want to touch your growing belly. If this makes you uncomfortable, don't hesitate to politely express your boundaries.

Your appetite is likely increasing during this phase of pregnancy. While you may have experienced morning sickness earlier, many women find that their appetite returns with vigor in the second trimester.

This heightened appetite is influenced by your growing baby's needs. It's essential to discuss your weight gain with your healthcare provider to ensure it remains healthy for you and your baby.

You may also experience pregnancy-related snoring due to nasal congestion caused by hormones. Using a humidifier, nasal strips, or sleeping with your head elevated on pillows can help alleviate this issue and ensure a good night's sleep.

Additionally, you might notice increased vaginal discharge (leukorrhea) and heightened sensitivity to allergens, both of which are normal pregnancy symptoms.

In terms of breast changes, your breasts may grow up to three cup sizes due to hormonal changes and the development of milk-producing glands. However, some women may not observe significant breast growth, which is also normal.

To prevent sciatica, which can cause pain or numbness down the legs, try using a heating pad or performing back stretches.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to looser teeth, so maintain good oral hygiene practices and see a dentist if you notice significant dental issues.

As your uterus grows, you may experience round ligament pain, which can be relieved by rest and possibly using a belly band for support.

Strange skin symptoms, such as darkening moles and heat rashes, are normal during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Protect your skin from the sun with sunscreen and stay shaded whenever possible.

Palmar erythema, a temporary skin condition that causes reddening of the palms or soles, can occur during pregnancy. It typically resolves after childbirth, but it's a good idea to consult your doctor for reassurance.

If you're not a fan of dairy products, you can obtain calcium from other sources such as calcium-fortified fruit juices, leafy green vegetables, sesame seeds, almonds, and calcium-fortified soy products like tofu. If needed, discuss calcium supplements with your healthcare provider for additional support.