17 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is the size of a


Congratulations on entering your 17th week of pregnancy! As your baby continues to grow, you can expect to experience some physical and emotional changes. In this article, we’ll explore what happens at 17 weeks pregnant, including the development of your baby, common symptoms you may experience, and some helpful tips for this period.

Highlights at 17 Weeks Pregnant

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from 17 weeks pregnant:

  • Your little one is beginning to look more and more like the baby you’ll meet after birth – they’re even growing tiny eyelashes, eyebrows and fingernails.

  • At 17 weeks pregnant, your baby is forming their own identity, in the form of fingerprints!

  • Are you feeling any fluttering in your belly at 17 weeks pregnant? This may be your baby moving around. Those feelings will get stronger as your pregnancy progresses.

  • You may be noticing some changes in your body shape and size around 17 weeks pregnant as that baby bump starts to show.

  • It may be too early to discover your little one’s sex (or perhaps you’d prefer a surprise anyway) – either way, you can try our Chinese Gender Predictor. It’s completely unscientific and just for fun!4


Your Baby’s Development at 17 Weeks Pregnant

Wouldn’t it be great if your bump had a little window? Those ultrasound scans can seem so few and far between when there’s so much going on in there! Here are some of your little one’s developments at 17 weeks pregnant:

  • If you could peek inside now, you’d see that your little one is looking more and more human each week. The head and body are now more in proportion with each other, the features are becoming more pronounced, and eyebrows and lashes are sprouting.

  • At 17 weeks, your foetus is growing fingernails, and the eyes can already move − though they remain firmly shut for the time being.

  • This week, your little one may still be looking a little wrinkled, but they’ll soon start getting plumper as a layer of insulating fat forms under the skin.

  • There’s one pattern of wrinkles and lines in the skin that won’t be going away. Your little one now has a completely unique set of fingerprints! If you’re 17 weeks pregnant with twins or triplets, each of your little ones has a different set of fingerprints, too.

  • It’s also possible that you may be feeling some of your baby’s movements in your belly at 17 weeks pregnant. If this isn’t your first baby, then you may be more aware of what the feeling is like, and recognise it sooner.

  • At 17 weeks pregnant you might still be waiting for this to happen, but in the next few weeks you could experience a faint bubbling or fluttering feeling in your tummy. This is sometimes referred to as ‘quickening’. These early movements can usually be felt any time between 16 and 24 weeks, but every pregnancy is different. Don’t worry if your little one is still keeping a low profile, especially if this is your first pregnancy. First-time pregnant parents often don’t feel anything until sometime after 20 weeks. If you haven’t felt any movement by 24 weeks, tell your midwife, who can check your foetus’s heartbeat and movements.

  • These first detectable movements may be barely perceptible, but as they get stronger you might eventually learn to tell the difference between punches and kicks.

  • It can be very reassuring to feel your little one moving around in there. It’s also a great early opportunity for your partner to start bonding with your little one. Place your partner’s hand on your tummy and wait for the enchanted reaction as you experience this important milestone together.

  • Another good way of involving your partner in the bonding process at this early stage might be to attend antenatal classes together.

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How Many Months Is 17 Weeks Pregnant?

If you’re 17 weeks pregnant, you may be wondering what that is in months. The 40 weeks of pregnancy can be divided into months in various ways, but at 17 weeks pregnant you’re likely in your fourth month of pregnancy!


Pregnancy Calendar
Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Weeks 13-27

Your Baby’s Size at 17 Weeks Pregnant?

At 17 weeks pregnant, your foetus is now about the size of a pear, measuring close to 12 centimetres crown to rump, and weighing in at around 150 grams.

Your Baby: What Does 17 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

To get a visual idea of what things are looking like inside your belly at 17 weeks pregnant, check out the illustration below:

what does a baby look like at 17 weeks pregnant

Your Body at 17 Weeks Pregnant

It’s not only your growing foetus that’s responsible for your weight gain at 17 weeks pregnant. Your placenta is getting bigger all the time so that it can keep your little one supplied with nutrients and oxygen. By the end of your pregnancy, your placenta alone will weigh around half a kilogram! Your figure could be undergoing a transformation by now. As your uterus moves upwards and out of your pelvis, it causes your waist to disappear as you take on a more obviously ‘pregnant’ shape. As your body shape changes, your centre of gravity can also shift. This can contribute to the back pain that is a common symptom around 17 weeks and throughout pregnancy. Many pregnant people find themselves feeling and looking great at this stage. You may find that you have fuller, shiner hair as your hair’s natural shedding cycle slows. The increased blood volume in your body and pregnancy hormones can give your skin a radiant glow around 17 weeks. If this sounds like you, enjoy these well-earned perks of the second trimester! If you’re having less of an easy ride, keep in mind that not everyone’s experience of pregnancy is the same. Some pregnant people find it harder than others to adjust to the rapid physical changes, and around 1 in 10 pregnant people report feelings of stress or anxiety during their pregnancy. The hormonal rollercoaster ride that you may be on can also make some small problems seem bigger than they are. Chatting to friends or family members you trust and feel comfortable with might help put things into perspective. Keep in mind that most pregnant people experience mood swings during pregnancy, and this is hardly surprising given all the changes that you’re going through at the moment. You can also talk to your midwife or doctor if you are feeling anxious, down or worried. There is a lot of support available out there if you need it.

Related pregnancy tool

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Your Symptoms at 17 Weeks Pregnant

Here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing around 17 weeks pregnant:

  • Piles (haemorrhoids). Yes, they really are a pain in the…you know what! Haemorrhoids form when blood vessels become enlarged in or around your rectum or anus, causing swelling that can be itchy or painful. Piles can occur even when you’re not pregnant, but the extra hormones in your body during pregnancy can make it easier for them to develop. They may also be caused or made worse by constipation – another common pregnancy symptom at 17 weeks and in the second trimester. Symptoms of piles can include an itchy or sore bottom, and pain or light bleeding when passing a stool. Eating enough fibre and doing exercise can help prevent piles from forming, but if they do develop ask your midwife or doctor about the best way to treat them.

  • Heartburn and indigestion. By now, morning sickness is a thing of the past for most pregnant people, but you might be experiencing heartburn and indigestion. These symptoms are more common in the later stages of pregnancy but can strike at any time. Try to avoid indigestion by eating smaller amounts frequently rather than three or four square meals a day. Drinking less coffee and other caffeine-based drinks, and following a healthy diet with fewer rich, spicy or fatty foods can also alleviate the symptoms. Ask your midwife or GP if you need extra help with the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.

  • Stretch marks. As your little one grows and goes through growth spurts, your skin may be stretching faster than it would like to. As a result, you may start noticing red or purple streaks on your stomach or breasts. As many as 8 in 10 pregnant people experience stretch marks, so if you have them you’re not alone! They usually fade over time after your baby is born, leaving only a silvery trace. There are plenty of creams marketed as treating stretch marks, but experts say that time – perhaps helped along by an unscented moisturiser – is the best healer.z

What Size is a Pregnant Belly at 17 Weeks?

As we mentioned earlier in this article, your body may be starting to change as your uterus moves upwards and out of your pelvis, and your baby and placenta get bigger. These changes may cause your baby bump to become more obvious around 17 weeks pregnant. But remember, every pregnancy and body is different, so if you’re not showing yet, that’s OK.

What Does 17 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

For a better idea of what your belly might look like around 17 weeks pregnant, and in your fourth month of pregnancy, check out the image below.

Things to Consider at 17 Weeks Pregnant

Take a look at some of these helpful things to consider at 17 weeks of pregnancy:

  • You may now be eager to know whether you’re having a boy or a girl. At your next ultrasound scan, which is a little after 17 weeks pregnant – usually between 18 and 21 weeks, you may get a chance to find out the probable sex of your future baby (if you want to). Bear in mind that it’s impossible to be 100 percent certain about the sex of your little one based on a scan, and if the foetus is lying in the wrong position it may be difficult or impossible to see if you’re going to have a boy or girl. Just for fun, you could also try this light-hearted way of ‘predicting’ your little one’s gender.

  • Some hospitals have a policy of not telling parents the sex of the foetus during ultrasound scans, so ask about this beforehand if you’re keen to know. You may also need to tell the sonographer at the beginning of the scan if you’d like to be told the probable sex of your little one. Keep in mind that the main purpose of the mid-pregnancy scan is to check that your foetus is developing as expected. The sonographer may not always be able to devote as much time as you’d like to finding out if your little one is a girl or boy, especially if the star of the show isn’t cooperating.

  • Some hospitals and clinics offer private 3D and 4D scans for a fee. These show a much higher level of detail than the conventional 2D scans performed for diagnostic purposes. The term 3D here refers to the technology’s ability to render 3D stills of your foetus, while 4D allows you to actually see a moving 3-dimensional image of your little one. If you opt for one of these, the sonographer will be able to spend more time showing you what you want to see. It’s worth waiting for your little one to develop a bit more before shelling out for this little luxury, though. Between 28 and 32 weeks your little one’s features are more fully developed, so that personality can really shine through! Seeing that little face for the first time, or catching sight of a yawn or other familiar gesture can be an incredibly moving experience. It’s also a great way for you and your partner or other family members to form an early bond with your little one. Ultrasound scans are not thought to pose a risk to you or your foetus, but it’s a good idea to discuss the pros and cons of non-medical scans with your midwife or doctor before deciding whether to have one.

  • Pregnancy can sometimes put a strain on even the most harmonious relationship, which is understandable given all the financial and practical worries that such a big lifestyle change can bring. It can help to avoid or defuse conflicts if you talk to your partner about your feelings and involve them as much as possible in events related to your pregnancy, like scans, antenatal classes and general planning. If you think you need outside support, your midwife or GP can help you find counselling and support groups in your area.

  • Navigating becoming a father for the first (or second) time can be hard on your partner as well at times. Check out our articles on tips for first time dads, and becoming a dad for the second time.

Tip for Partners

Your pregnant partner might be experiencing some aches and pains as their belly grows and the pregnancy progresses. Give them plenty of time to relax and put their feet up by taking on some extra chores around the house. You could even give them a relaxing foot bath and gentle foot rub at the end of the day.


Questions for Your Doctor at 17 Weeks Pregnant

Here are some questions that you could ask your doctor or midwife at 17 weeks pregnant:

  • Is it normal to get headaches? What can I do about it?

  • What are the risks and benefits of amniocentesis if I’m offered it?

  • What types of genetic testing may be offered during the second trimester?

  • Is it safe to get a professional massage at 17 weeks of pregnancy?

  • Will I have an ultrasound scan at 17 weeks pregnant?


At 17 weeks pregnant, you may or may not have felt your baby move for the first time. This usually occurs between 16 to 24 weeks of pregnancy and may feel like a gentle fluttering or swirling. Your baby is still very tiny, so those movements may still be hard to detect and won’t feel like actual kicks until later in your pregnancy.

17 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Consider the following to-dos to help you along at 17 weeks pregnant:

  • Planning a babymoon? Ask your doctor or midwife about flying and travelling when you’re 17 weeks pregnant.

  • Start making a shortlist of baby names (if you haven’t already). You’ll need to make two lists if you don’t yet know whether you’re having a boy or a girl, or you could browse some of our suggestions for gender-neutral names!

  • Ask your midwife about what antenatal classes are available in your local area. They are free if provided through the NHS, but demand can be high, so it’s best to book as early as possible.

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS). You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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