Pregnancy Week by Week:
What to Expect Week 17-20

Pregnancy Week by Week: What to Expect Week 17-20

Weeks 17 to 20 are smack in the middle of your second trimester. By now, you and your little one have experienced a lot of changes already. And things are only going to get more interesting!

This installment of our Pregnancy Week by Week series is going to focus on everything you and your little one will go through from week 17 to week 20 of your pregnancy journey. We’ll let you know how your little one is doing. We’ll also explain some of the symptoms you may experience. Finally, we’ll offer some helpful advice that will help make your pregnancy journey a lot easier.

Well, let’s begin, shall we?

Week 17

What to expect for baby

Your baby is about 5 inches long and weighs about 5 ounces now. Their senses and muscles are also developing at a rapid pace, and this week, they’ll be able to experience them!

This week, your little one is also learning to suck and swallow in preparation for when they get to feed. Soon, you’ll be able to talk to your baby and they’ll be able to hear you since their ears are now fully developed.

What to expect for mom to be

As for you, your ever-growing belly will be all the evidence you need that your little one is growing like crazy inside you. Your pregnancy belly is coming in nice and fast now, although it will still be a little difficult for strangers to tell that you have a bun in the oven.

You’ll also be glad to know that at this point of your pregnancy, things should be a little easier for you. The morning sickness will have mostly faded (although you may still experience a few bouts on odd days) and the constant urge to use the bathroom that you had, in the beginning, should be gone by now.

With nausea gone, you can expect the cravings and the huge appetite to come in now.

Your breasts may also experience a lot of growth this week. They’ll also be a lot more tender than usual. Lucky for you, there are perfect pregnancy bras out there that will give you all the comfort and support you need.

Tip of the week

By week 17, you’re probably actively preparing for your baby’s arrival. Decide whether or not you’d like to find out about their sex, what childbirth classes you’d like to take, and more. Get a support system around you and do not try to do everything on your own.

Also, take care of your teeth! All the hormones coursing through your veins will start to affect your mouth, teeth, and gums. If you notice loose teeth, see a dentist about it right away.

Additionally, now that your pregnancy belly is coming in, be sure to maintain your boundaries! If you don’t want any tummy touchers, say so! If you are OK with them, though, then be ready for plenty of them!

Week 18

What to expect for baby

Your baby is quite big and heavy this week. Remember how they used to be as tiny as a pinhead just a few weeks ago? Well, this week, they are as big as a cucumber! It’s hard to believe, but that little munchkin really is becoming a human! Different features of the baby will become more defined this week. The fingerprints and genitals will come in as well. By your next ultrasound, if you’re curious to know the sex of your baby, you’ll be able to find out!

What to expect for mom to be

With a growing uterus, your body will begin to feel sore. Your back muscles will especially be affected as your abdomen pulls the rest of your body down. You’ll also notice the same in your legs with cramps and swelling in the feet and the ankles. To ease the pain, try using footrests and heat compresses on the areas that are affected.

Start sleeping on your side instead of your back from week 18. Your baby is getting larger and heavier and they’ll be putting a lot of pressure on your abdomen. Sleeping on your back can restrict blood flow to the rest of your body, leading to low blood pressure complications. Simply sleeping on your side takes care of this potential problem.

You’ll be quite prone to fatigue at around this time, so take the time to relax every once in a while.

Tip of the week

Give your body a bit more rest. Although workouts are good for you at this time, you don’t want to put too much of a strain on your body. Any exercise that requires you to be on your back, to bend over too far, or one with frequent movements should be off-limits. You should also try to avoid any sudden movements that may cause fatigue or strain.

Week 19

What to expect for baby

A milestone you’ve probably been waiting for for a while is going to start soon! You’ll get to feel your baby’s first kicks (if you haven’t already)!

Your baby is still growing rapidly this week. Their lungs are starting to develop as well.

This week, your little one will start to develop a protective coating over their skin called vernix caseosa that may become visible later at birth

What to expect for mom to be

Your cravings and your appetite will be at their highest by this week. You’ve probably been feeling them gradually increasing over the past few weeks. Indulge a little if you feel like it, but remember to maintain a healthy diet as you do.

You’ll be experiencing the same symptoms you’ve had in the last few weeks such as dizziness, cramps, and fatigue. However, you may now also start to notice some nasal congestion as well.

Tip of the week

You’ll probably have your mid-pregnancy ultrasound at around this time. With it, you’ll be able to tell your baby’s sex and see how they are developing in your womb. This is a very exciting time!

This week, try sleeping with your pillows propped up. With nasal congestion and stuffy noses, you’ll be snoring quite a bit. You’ll also want to gradually increase your fiber intake. Take it very slow, however, as it can end up causing more bloating and gas than you’re already experiencing!

Week 20

What to expect for baby

Your baby will be moving quite a bit this week, so be prepared to feel some punches and kicks! They’ll be really working out their motor skills and muscle movements as they develop more, and they’ll be sucking on their thumb too!

Their lungs will also be in the middle of development by this week. In just a few more weeks, they’ll be able to survive outside the womb if they had to!

What to expect for mom to be

You’ve officially reached the halfway mark by this week, so congratulations! There have been lots of changes since week 1. However, your belly is definitely the biggest one! Soon, you won’t be able to keep your pregnancy a secret anymore. Everyone will be able to notice the adorable little one that you’re carrying!

This week, you’ll be dealing with some occasional headaches along with some cramps. A bit of indigestion is to be expected as well. Therefore, be careful with that appetite of yours and don’t eat too much!

Tip of the week

Week 20 is your pregnancy’s halfway point. You’re probably thinking about potential baby names at around this time as it’s been only a week since you found out your baby’s sex. This is also a great time to start finalizing your baby registry and shopping.

This week, try to maintain a healthy diet. The cravings will be coming in fast and strong, so feel free to treat yourself from time to time. However, keep it healthy!

Also, make sure you’re getting plenty of calcium. Your baby’s bones are currently in development, so you need to provide them with this essential nutrient. Foods that are rich in calcium include nuts, leafy greens, soft cheeses, and plant-based drinks.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations on making it pretty much halfway through your pregnancy! As you inch closer and closer to your third trimester, you’ll begin to notice even more changes, especially since your baby will be larger than ever.

All the changes the body goes through can be a bit stressful to some moms, especially first-time moms. This is especially true over the course of these four weeks as you start to adjust to the fact that you’re growing a life inside of you. If you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to your partner, your friends, or your family about it. If you think it’s all too much, reach out to your doctor and they will recommend some professional help.

Throughout these 4 weeks, you’ve hit quite a few milestones. Your baby is starting to feel more and more like the little human they’re growing into, and you can feel it too! You’re now heading into the second half of your pregnancy, so again, congratulations to you!

Angelia Smith - Feb. 23 2022


Shop today with 5% OFF your first order of all products storewide