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Week #17 of Pregnancy

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Pregnancy Week 17

By Christine Shiffler, edHelperBaby

  How is your baby growing and developing?
           Your baby is around five inches long or a little more by week 17 of pregnancy.  He/she weighs around five ounces.  Your baby's hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are beginning to grow.  Soft hair will cover the baby's face and body.  Most of this hair will disappear before your baby is born.  A small amount remains on the baby and lingers for the first few weeks of your baby's life.

       Visual development is beginning too.  Your baby will gradually become sensitive to light.  Some people believe that shining a flashlight on your stomach can provoke a reaction from your baby.  Being sensitive to light, your baby may respond by moving inside you.


   What is happening to your skin?
           The pregnancy glow that many women have is caused by extra oils your body is producing.  These oils can cause more than a glow.  They can cause you to have break outs.  You may also discover more pronounced veins on your chest, arms, legs, and face.  These will appear due to extra blood flow in your body.  This can cause swelling of the vessels near the skin's surface.  Some women may even have dark blotches on the face.  Don't worry, all these skin changes will return to normal after pregnancy.

       Everything you apply to your body may affect not only you but also your baby.  The ingredients you use on your skin absorb into your bloodstream.  Most over-the-counter products are safe to use.  Some products have ingredients that are considered potentially harmful to a growing baby.  If you are unsure, you should check with your doctor before using any creams.


  Parent's Homework Assignment:
           You and your partner can think of relaxation techniques that work for you and your lifestyle.  There are many stress relievers.   You need to find one that works for you.  Anxiety is normal during pregnancy.  If the anxiety becomes very stressful and is causing symptoms such as food binges, uncontrolled crying, sleeplessness, headaches, body aches, or loss of appetite, then you and your partner need to find ways to relax. Even though your partner may not be experiencing the symptoms, he is experiencing the stress. You and your partner can evaluate what you can change to make things less stressful.  Can you or your partner decrease your work hours?  Can you get help with the house?  If you have other children can you find childcare for them?  Discuss things with your partner and also listen to his feelings.  Set time aside every day or a few days a week to walk together.  Exercise is a great stress reliever.


  Should you get a 3D or 4D ultrasound?
           The majority of pregnant women love their sonograms and the wait between them seems like forever.  Some of us are dying to know what our baby will look like.  Since the only real way to know is when the baby is born, the closest thing is to get a 3D or 4D ultrasound.  The wait can be a killer, but so can the cost of a few hundred dollars for the ultrasound.   Insurance does not cover the cost of these ultrasounds.  The 3D ultrasound is composed of sonogram photos.  The 4D is a moving image.  Some people find them to be odd looking.  The baby doesn't have their features fully filled out.  Some people are disappointed because the baby doesn't have the cuddly look of a baby yet. Most sonogram operators will give you their opinions.  Some agree that the pictures you get when you go to your scheduled sonograms are sufficient.   Other people have their hearts set on getting this type of sonogram.  If you are interested, you should wait until 28 weeks or later.  Your baby will be more developed and closely resemble the images you have in your imagination.


  Reasons to love being pregnant.
  1. Your partner talks and reads to your belly.
  2. Your partner lovingly pats and kisses your belly.
  3. Everything else on your body usually looks small compared to your stomach.
  4. People around you are usually kind and courteous.
  5. Colleagues are more apt to help you see projects through to completion.
  6. You belong to a new group - mothers.
  7. You get to feel the baby moving around in your belly.
  8. You have a legitimate excuse to take a nap or get that snack.
  9. You and your partner can think of different baby names.
  10. You usually won't wait in to many lines when going out.
  11. You may feel sexier due to your new cleavage.
  12. You and your partner can have fun eating all those weird cravings.
  13. You now have beautiful hair, nails, and skin.
  14. Finally, you don't have your period.


  Things to do:
  • Try a flashlight on your stomach.
  • Check the ingredients in your skin creams.
  • Consult a doctor about any questions you may have.
  • Learn some relaxation techniques.
  • Think about getting a 3D or 4D sonogram.


     Partner Discussion

     Are there any foods that I should avoid during pregnancy?
What are the best sleeping positions when side sleeping just does not cut it anymore?

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