At 17 weeks of gestation, your growing uterus shifts your centre of gravity, making you uneasy on the feet. Your fetus at 17 weeks pregnant also undergoes many significant changes.
Changes in Fetus
The skeleton of your baby starts changing from rubbery cartilage to bone, but the bones are still flexible, so that the birth canal journey goes easy. The umbilical cord, which is his /her lifeline to placenta, grows more strong and thick. The weight of your baby is about five ounces now and measures five inches from head to rump and would measure up to nine inches, from the head to toe. The baby can move his/her joints and the sweat glands start developing all over the body.
During 17th week, fat, known as adipose tissue, starts developing and gets stored under the skin of your baby. This fat is essential for metabolism and helps in providing energy and keeping the baby warm after delivery. The retina becomes sensitive to light and the baby’s eyes start looking forward, but they still remain firmly closed. You can start feeling your expanding uterus just under your belly button. You can measure it to be one inch, by putting your fingers below the bellybutton, on sideways. Your uterus measures to be of a melon’s size.
The first stools of the baby, known as meconium are now starting to accumulate. Hearing sense starts to develop now and the baby concentrates on listening to the beats of your heart. Your baby works on swallowing and sucking reflexes for few weeks. Genital organs start forming at this time. The head of the baby now appears to be proportional to body size and can hold his/her head erectly now.