17 Weeks Pregnant
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Your baby at 17 weeks
Now weighing around 142g, your baby actually still looks quite skinny and it is only now that their body fat is beginning to be formed. The baby's skeleton is still made up mostly of cartilage but this is slowly beginning to harden and will become bone over the forthcoming weeks. Your baby will now be able to suck and breathe, or at least make the correct movements to practice for the outside world. These rehearsals are important and you will probably be amazed to see how quickly your newborn baby shows an ability to suckle, either on the breast or bottle, so soon after being delivered in about 6 months time.
How you are feeling
By the second trimester, many women find that their libido has returned if it disappeared during the first trimester. However, you should not compare yourself to anybody else you know who is pregnant. Whether you find that you can barely open one eyelid in response to intimate attention from your partner, or you can't get enough of it, fluctuating feelings about sex are perfectly normal during pregnancy. The important thing is, unless there are any known complications in your pregnancy, sex during pregnancy is safe (although swinging from the lampshade should probably be put on hold for the next few months). As with all areas of pregnancy, do not be afraid to discuss any concerns that you have with your doctor or midwife.
Have you been experiencing an increase in vaginal discharge? It is normal to expect a thin, milky, mild-smelling discharge throughout pregnancy, and it is serving an important purpose. It is created in order to protect the birth canal from infection and to ensure the correct balance of bacteria in the vagina. If it is bothering you then it is OK to use panty-liners to help keep your underwear fresh, but it is not safe to wear tampons during pregnancy, and neither should it really be necessary. However you feel about it, be prepared for this discharge to increase as your pregnancy progresses. Unless it changes colour or begins to smell unpleasant there is no need for concern. Talk to your doctor if you do have any worries at all.
What you need to do
Are you a cat owner? A particular danger to pregnant cat owners is toxoplasmosis, a parasite that is often carried by cats. Unless you live alone, ask your partner to take over all the cat chores, particularly changing and cleaning the litter tray. If you live alone and have to do these jobs yourself then be meticulous about hand hygiene. If you have lived with the cat (or cats) for a long time then it is probable that you have already been infected in the past and have now developed immunity to it, but caution is still advised. While contracting toxoplasmosis presents little risk to you, there are potential complications should the infection be passed onto your unborn child. People generally show no symptoms at all if they become infected, however they may have mild fever or swollen glands some weeks after contracting it. If you are concerned at all then your doctor can arrange a test for you. In the unlikely event that you test positive then you would probably be given antibiotics, reducing the chances of transmission of the infection to the baby.
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