You are 17 Weeks and 4 Days 157 days to go…
Although changes are taking place, your baby’s lungs are still fairly immature and won’t be fully developed until week 35.
The skin of your baby is extremely soft and smooth. The soles of
the feet and toes are shown in this image and it is clear they are free
from wrinkles. During the next week evidence of fingerprint and
toeprint patterns will appear on the skin.
Your baby today
Your baby’s complex lung development is continuing.
To picture their growth and development, imagine the whole lungs as a
tree: the trunk has developed (the trachea or windpipe), and this has
branched into smaller and medium-sized branches (bronchi), but the twigs
(bronchioles) holding the leaves (alveoli) have not yet formed. It is
the alveoli that have walls so thin that they allow oxygen to be
absorbed from the air in them and carbon dioxide to leave via the
From now until 28 weeks the
“twigs” are forming that will hold the alveoli that will become filled
with air after birth. These “twigs” will have a limited ability to
transfer gases but the lungs will not be fully effective until the
alveoli develop. The growth of the blood vessels that support the lungs
closely matches the growth of the lungs themselves. These blood vessels
will be essential for the transfer of oxygen after your baby is born.
After birth, all the
blood that is leaving the right side of the heart will enter the lung
circulation, but before birth, with the lungs filled with fluid and not
used for breathing, only a small amount of blood (approximately 10–15
percent) is directed to them.
Relaxin is one of the most important pregnancy-related hormones.
As its name implies, relaxin relaxes the connective tissue, tendons,
and ligaments in your body to allow the diaphragm to expand and create
space for your baby to grow. It also loosens the ligaments and tendons
enough to facilitate the opening of the birth canal for a vaginal
Relaxin affects most
parts of your body and, as a result, your spine and pelvis will also
feel less stable, so be aware of your posture and alignment when
Relaxin is also responsible
for the relaxation of the circulatory system: the walls of the veins
are relaxed, which sometimes results in varicose veins . Doing cardiovascular exercise will help increase blood flow and can reduce the occurrence of varicose veins.
Only stretch as far as is comfortable because during pregnancy you’re more vulnerable to damaging muscles and tendons.
When standing, always keep your hips in a neutral position. Don’t move your hips to one side.
Beware of hyperextending (arching) your lower back and rounding your shoulders.
Keep all your movements slow
and controlled, and do not stretch beyond your comfort zone. The
increased flexibility of your muscles and tendons could potentially
result in overstretching during activities such as yoga or Pilates.
You are 17 Weeks and 5 Days 156 days to go…
As your belly begins to grow and is more obvious, your pregnancy will become the main focus of people’s attention.
This image shows how much less obvious the soft spot on the top
has become by now. The fingers show up well here, and as your baby
increases in size, it becomes easier and easier for ultrasound to show
this level of detail.
Your baby today
Are you getting a little more attention than you would like?
Once your belly becomes very obvious, you may begin to feel that it and
you are public property. Fascinated by your ever-increasing abdomen,
some friends and family, or even strangers, may want to see your belly,
touch it, or even kiss it. This can feel very strange because, as a
rule, people tend not to go around touching each other’s abdomens!
uncomfortable about being touched, then you could politely ask people
not to touch the belly, or simply move away. There are, however, some
advantages to having people notice that you are pregnant: your belly
acts as a warning for people not to jostle you in crowds and people tend
to give you a seat on public transportation. Another unwanted intrusion
might be that people feel entitled to ask you intimate questions
regarding your medical history and about the baby. This may make you
uncomfortable, especially if you tend to be a private person. People you
have never met before might comment on your figure, and discuss whether
you’re having a girl or a boy.
Some pregnant women
enjoy the attention, while others feel that people are intruding on a
personal experience. If you feel uncomfortable, answer questions vaguely
or try to change the subject; ask the person about themself instead.
Another way of avoiding the unwanted attention is to wear loose clothing
that makes your belly look less prominent and attractive to touch.
Be prepared for some people to look at,
comment on, and want to feel your wonderful belly as it becomes more
noticeable. If you’re a tactile person by nature, this attention can be
easier to handle than if you’re not.
It’s not forbidden to eat salt while you’re pregnant.
It was once thought
that salt increased swelling and the risk of high blood pressure. But
your body needs salt to expand your volume of blood and body fluids. Use
sea salt (it contains less sodium) and don’t have in excess of 0.25 oz
(6 g) a day.
I’m so itchy that I’m scratching to the point of bleeding. What can I do?
Most itching in pregnancy, especially on your belly, is due to stretching of the skin, hormonal changes, and heat. Applying moisturizing cream should help.
If you have significant itching, see your doctor to determine whether you have obstetric cholestasis, a serious but rare condition that affects the liver and occurs in about 1 percent of pregnancies.