Week 17


You may notice that your breasts have changed considerably since your pregnancy began. More blood is flowing to the breasts, which increases their size (many women increase one to two cup sizes) and causes veins to become visible.  They may still feel tender and swollen, so ensure you choose a comfortable, supportive bra.

If you feel pain on the sides of your torso it may be due to stretching of ligaments that support your uterus, and your baby growing. This is normal but if you are concerned, or the pain is too intense, or lasts too long, contact your LMC immediately.

At about 12 cm and 100 grams, your baby is still very tiny, but this week brings the development of brown fat, which will help keep your baby warm after birth. During the last trimester your baby will add more layers of fat to his/her body for warmth and protection.

The placenta, which nourishes the foetus with nutrients and oxygen and removes wastes, is growing to accommodate your baby. More than an inch thick, it now contains thousands of blood vessels that exchange nutrients and oxygen from your body to your baby's developing body. The umbilical cord is growing thicker and stronger and the skeleton is transforming from cartilage to bone.

During the following three weeks your baby will grow so much that he/she will double in size. The circulatory system and the urinary tract are developed and will be working. Your baby is also inhaling, but not inhaling air as we do, instead he or she inhales amniotic fluid.
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