Getting closer to the ½-way-point of your pregnancy, you’re probably experiencing joy, discomfort, excitement, and longing for the weeks to go by and the arrival of the much anticipated day you finally get to meet your little one. At 17 weeks pregnant, it can be easy to fall into the hopes of time flying by, but do your best to stay in the moment. Everything about pregnancy is a waiting game; if you were “trying” for this pregnancy, you had to wait for ovulation (and possibly even take medication or test diligently for it), have sex accordingly, wait for the day you could test, wait for the pregnancy test to be positive, and wait for it to be confirmed by a doctor. Now that you’re pregnant, you’ll be waiting for each of the highlights like getting to find out the gender and actually going into labor and giving birth. Patience is the key to staying somewhat sane throughout the pregnancy process.
On the good side of your 17th week of pregnancy, your baby has reached a length of 5”! Her little body is, now, able to move around and react more. In addition to her limbs, she’s able to pick her head up from her chest… a huge feat for someone so tiny. With all of the movement of her arms, legs, and head, it’s a good thing that this is the point of your pregnancy that the soft cartilage that composes her skeleton is hardening to form strong bone. In addition to all of the physical changes she’s undergoing, she’s going to start being able to hear around this week. So, as of this week, your voice will be something constant that brings her peace and will continue to do so after she is born. Many moms choose to play music to their tummies via headphones starting at this point; the jury’s still out on whether early introduction of classical music affects IQ.
At 17 weeks pregnant, there are a lot of things you can do to enjoy this time of your life more and focus less on the anticipation. With your growing belly and the physical changes you’re undergoing to accommodate the growth of your uterus, pampering yourself is a good idea this week. Pain and swelling can occur in every part of your body from your hands to your feet, so resting and relaxing, warm baths (not too hot, or for too long), pedicures, and swimming are just a few activities that can alleviate pain and swelling. In addition to pampering, your diet and physical activity (once again) can have a major impact on the comfort or discomfort you experience in pregnancy; try to limit your sodium intake, drink more water daily, hydrate even when you’re not feeling thirsty (thirst is a physical sign that you have surpassed the point of needing hydration), exercising daily (promoting blood circulation), and elevating your feet whenever you lay down.
The 17th week of your pregnancy can be exciting and also exhausting. While filled with the anticipation of delivering your baby, you can start to forget things that benefit you and how you feel at this time. By taking the time to pamper yourself, you can keep your mind and body happy… which helps every aspect of your pregnancy and developing baby, too. Don’t discount the power of a pedicure or relaxing massage, and now is the time to forego folding the load of laundry in order to close your eyes for 15 minutes. Proper nutrition, hydration, and physical activity can also have a huge impact on your mind and body; don’t forget to limit salty foods and drink lots of water. Going for a walk may sound exhausting right now, but you could be amazed at how much the blood getting pumping can help your mood and tiredness.