In our pregnancy week by week guide, you can find out what to expect when you’re 17 weeks pregnant.

You at 17 weeks pregnant

You could have more vaginal discharge, so sanitary pads or panty liners could come in handy. If the discharge changes colour or smells bad, see your midwife or doctor.

You might have lots of energy. People are probably starting to notice that you’re pregnant. It could be time to shop for pregnancy bras and maternity clothes or loose clothes.  

pregnancy illustration, week 17

Healthy weight gain
It’s not true that you need to ‘eat for two’ during pregnancy. The quality of food, not the quantity, is more important.

It’s recommended that women of a healthy weight should gain 11-16 kg throughout pregnancy. But if you’re pregnant and carrying extra weight, it’s recommended that you gain less – 0-11 kg, depending on your starting weight. This will still allow your baby to grow normally, but limit extra weight gain for you.

Because women gain weight at different rates and times, it’s important to talk with your midwife or doctor about the best amount of weight gain for you during pregnancy. Your health professional might check your weight at pregnancy visits.

Your health professional will recommend that you have an ultrasound scan at 18-20 weeks. Your baby will look like a real baby on this scan – it’s usually very exciting. But the 20-week ultrasound is also a screening procedure that checks your baby’s development and body parts, as well as the position of the placenta. Think about how you might feel and what you’d do if you’re told that your baby has a high risk of complications or an abnormality. Read more about the 20-week scan in our article on tests in pregnancy.

Your baby when you’re 17 weeks pregnant

Your baby is getting bigger all the time, and might now weigh more than the placenta:

  • Your baby is about 13 cm from head to bottom, and about 150 gm.
  • Your baby’s external sex organs are completely formed.
  • The kidneys are working, and your baby passes urine every 50 minutes or so. Your baby will also swallow some urine (which is sterile) in the amniotic fluid. This is normal.
  • Loud noises might make your baby startle.
  • Your baby’s taste buds are working, and your baby can tell the difference between sweet and bitter.


18 weeks pregnant

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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