Help your growing baby develop in the seventeenth week of your pregnancy
You may be able to feel your growing baby’s movements this week! Give his or her motor skills a boost with proper nourishment.
What’s happening this week?
Your growing baby has been learning reflex actions over the past few weeks. He or she now knows how to suck and swallow – important skills to know after being born so he or she can receive nutrition properly. Your little one’s brain, meanwhile, has developed to a point where it can regulate his or her heartbeati.
The umbilical cord is thick and strong now, and is firmly attached to your growing baby and the placenta, delivering nutrients and oxygen to him or her and taking away wasteii.
Your growing baby gained a lot of weight this week and is now around five ounces (150 grams).iii
What can you expect?
This week, you just might feel your growing baby’s movements for the first time! Called ‘quickening’, your growing baby’s tiny movements often feel like small bubbles popping or the fluttering of tiny butterfly wings.
Your growing baby’s weight has doubled in the last two weeks, which has also made you gain more weight at this pregnancy stage. Gaining too many pounds, however, can contribute to pregnancy and labor complications. Note these steps to manage weight gain and keep your pregnancy on a healthy track:
- Track your weight gain. If you are of a normal weight before pregnancy, on average, you should be gaining almost a pound (0.36 to 0.45 kilograms) per week at this stage of your pregnancy, and a total of 25 to 35 pounds (11 to 16 kilograms) throughout pregnancy.iv
- Weight gain can also be regulated with periodic exercise that is gentle on your body such as prenatal yoga and swimming. Remember to consult your doctor before doing any exercises during your pregnancy.
What can you do to support your pregnancy?
Of course, one of the things you should consistently do throughout the pregnancy is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Look after your growing baby by limiting your caffeine intake as it may affect the growth of your developing baby and is linked to low birth weightv.
The general recommendation is to limit your intake to less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per dayvi. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 95 milligrams of caffeine, while the same amount of brewed tea has 47 milligrams.
If you’re looking for a midday pick-me-up, a great alternative is to go outdoors for a short walk. The change in environment is sure to stimulate your senses and you’ll get a little endorphin boost out of it too. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.