Diary of a Dad: Week 17 - Baby-proofing the House

by Adam Riches

Have you thought about antenatal classes yet?

Week 17

your baby this week:

Your little one is learning how to suck and swallow, getting ready for nursing and/or bottle-feeding. They are also developing fat deposits underneath their skin, which will account for about two to six percent of their total body weight at birth and become a source of warmth and energy. Also, their fingerprints are nearly formed!

Your little one's umbilical is growing longer too, preparing for the more demanding second-half of pregnancy, providing oxygen and nutrients along the way. Also, your baby's limbs have almost entirely turned into bone, and he or she is hearing your voice!

your body:

By week 17, you may feel like you're in this strange middle place where you've obviously gained a little weight, but your overall look doesn’t deliver that "I'm obviously pregnant" message yet. On top of that, you could feel clumsier than usual, now that your baby belly is carrying weight in a higher, more out-in-front-of-you position. It's totally normal if you sometimes feel unbalanced in a bewildering, wobbly-in-my-heels kind of way. It may be time for you to put away your high heels and take out your comfy flip flops, sneakers, and snuggly, warm boots.

Yes, you are eating for two. But that isn't a permission slip to eat the world on a silver platter. At 17 weeks, you should be consuming about 2,200 calories per day. Fill these calories with nutritious choices, including lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Because of your body's increased estrogen, your melatonin production has increased too. This sometimes leads to a darker, more sun-sensitive complexion, such as a "mask of pregnancy" on your face, or a "linea nigra" down the middle of your stomach. This is normal and any badges of human-growing honor will fade after childbirth. Your stomach and breasts may also feel a bit itchier too, as your skin stretches. Give some love to your sensitive skin and use a good lotion or cream to help minimize your desire to get scratchy.

Have you felt the quickening yet?

Often described as feeling like little flutters, or bubbles of indigestion, those gentle, first fetal movements are hard to recognize because they're well-surrounded and cushioned by amniotic fluid. If you haven't felt anything yet, there's no need to worry because every pregnancy is different. It's considered normal to recognize those first fetal movements at any point between 16 and 22 weeks. Gather your patience and soon, those little wiggles will grow strong, and you'll feel and recognize them regularly. If you have an anterior placenta, (when the placenta attaches to the front of the uterine wall), the amniotic cushioning may prevent you from feeling fetal movements until later in your pregnancy.

As time progresses, you will begin to feel movement with more frequency. And around week 25 week, the movements become strong enough to feel - and SEE! - from the outside of your stomach. You may even notice a pattern in the time of day when your baby is active or calm. This is your first glimpse into the personality of that little person on the inside. Does your baby want to stay up all night? Is she wigglier when you're playing loud music? Does he kick every time you drink milk? Enjoy getting to know your little one.

Louise Broadbridge - Our Expert Midwife

Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.

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your tips & to do's:

This week, there are many tests you should talk to your midwife or doctor about. These screening and diagnostic tests will help determine your baby's risk level for certain conditions and complications, including amniocentesis, CVS, and cordocentesis, and a nuchal translucency. You aren't required to take these tests, though it is highly recommended if there is a family history of any genetic conditions, irregular hormone level, or abnormal bone measurements. But there are certain risks associated with these tests, so be sure to discuss these risks and any other possible complications involved with each until you are entirely comfortable with each diagnostic or screening test you decide to take.

Now that you have a little baby belly, your seatbelt might not rest where it used to. So... where should you place your seatbelt? Keep the lap portion of the belt under your belly, securely against your hips. No matter what, don't skip the seatbelt altogether because any trauma to your abdomen could harm your baby.

Speaking of driving, now is a great time to test-drive a few names for your little one. If you and your partner are having trouble deciding or agreeing on a name, there's hope yet! The birth is still months away, and any feelings surrounding a certain name can easily change by then. Come up with a list of about 5 to 10 names, and have your partner do the same. Try saying them out loud. Then pick one and use that name for a few days whenever you talk to your belly. Have fun with it! Who knows, the name you initially rejected might grow on you, and the name you loved might feel all wrong.

Don't forget to keep track of your pregnancy milestones! Take a pregnancy profile picture this week, and write in your journal. You'll be surprised at how quickly this time goes by, and be thankful for each little moment or thought you record along the way.

your symptoms

At 17 weeks, the nausea of the first trimester is a thing of the past and the discomfort and sleeplessness of the third trimester are yet to come. This means you are in the golden phase of pregnancy. Here is a list of symptoms you may experience this week.

  • Weight gain
  • Increased melatonin
  • Itchy stomach and/or breasts and stretch marks
  • Crazy dreams
  • Increased clumsiness
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Stuffy nose and/or nasal congestion
  • Increased appetite
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn and/or indigestion

Articles For You to Read This Week

When Will My Baby Start Kicking?

When Will My Baby Start Kicking?

You should start to feel your baby move between around 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. If this is your first baby, you might not feel movements...

When is it Too Early to Buy Baby Clothes?

When is it 'Too Early' to Buy Baby Clothes?

Many women worry about getting their hopes up when pregnant and aren’t sure when it’s considered too early to start buying baby clothes, in case of complications or even before...

How to Pick the Perfect Baby Name

How to Pick the Perfect Baby Name

Probably the most difficult decision you make whilst pregnant (or even after you've had the baby). Choosing your baby's name can be a lot of pressure...

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Angelcare AC1300 Baby Movement Monitor

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Joie i-Spin 360 Group 0+/1 Isofix - Coal

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Written by

Adam Riches

Blogger, Teacher and Father of One
Being a parent isn’t something you can ever truly prepare for (no matter how many things you read about!) I don’t think I’ll ever really get it right, but that’s what being a parent is all about for me - effectively winging it and being totally ok with just doing your best at being a dad. I’m stumbling through life as a dad of one and between extracting coco pops from my son’s nose and trying to persuade him that dinosaurs aren’t going to get him at night, I write a bit and I teach a lot.

Articles on YourBabyClub.co.uk are a mixture of informative pieces, anecdotal accounts and professional advice from our panel of Bloggers, Writers and Experts. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official view of Your Baby Club UK

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