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17 weeks pregnant

When you are 17 weeks pregnant, your baby can move freely, hearing and responding to external sounds. You may experience symptoms of heartburn, constipation or itching.

Week by week stages of pregnancy: week 17

At 17 weeks pregnant your baby’s limbs and vital organs are now fully formed so they will just continue growing in size. They will be growing eyebrows and eyelashes and maybe even some hair on their head.

They will also be very active now – babies at this stage like to kick, punch and turn around in the uterus. They can hear and respond to noises outside the uterus, so you might want to try talking to them or play soothing music.

Don’t worry if you can’t feel their movements just yet, this will normally happen in a few weeks time, but rest assured they're having a ball in there!

At 17 weeks pregnant your bump will be growing in size to accommodate your growing baby so you may very well be showing now. The symptoms of early pregnancy should now be going but you maybe be suffering other niggles and discomforts such as heartburn, constipation or itching. Severe itching may be the sign of a problem, such as obstetric cholestasis, so tell your midwife or GP.

When you're pregnant, mealtimes can seem a bit of a minefield but it is important to keep healthy. This includes being careful with what you eat. It is important to eat healthily as you will be providing your baby with all the nutrients he or she needs to grow and develop, therefore you must make sure you are eating the right things at the right time.

Some bacteria can cause serious infections as you’re more vulnerable to food-borne infections when you’re pregnant, so you’ll want to be extra careful about what you eat. NCT has lots of information on this to help you make informed decisions about keeping healthy.  

Further help and information

NCT's helpline offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700. We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Join in with NCT on Facebook and Twitter - it's a great way to make new friends and stay in touch with old ones. Or joint our community for new parents on Google+ where you can connect with other parents online who are experiencing similar things.