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Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 17-20

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Week 17

Baby: Your baby now has doubled in weight in the last two weeks. Fat begins to form, helping your baby's heat production and metabolism. The lungs are beginning to exhale amniotic fluid, and the circulatory and urinary systems are working. Hair on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes is filling in.

Mom-to-be: You're showing more now, with a typical weight gain of 5-10 pounds. You may also be noticing that your appetite has grown.

Pregnancy Week by Week

Pregnant Belly
If you are newly pregnant, or trying to conceive, you have many questions about what to expect. How will your body change? What's happening inside you? Here's what to expect week by week.

Tip of the Week: To avoid feeling dizzy or faint, change positions slowly, especially when you move from a lying down position to sitting or from a sitting position to standing. If you feel lightheaded, sit down and lower your head, or lie down for a moment.

Week 18

Baby: Your baby's rapid growth spurt is tapering off, but reflexes are kicking in. The baby can yawn, stretch, and make facial expressions, even frown. Taste buds are beginning to develop and can distinguish sweet from bitter. The baby will suck if its lips are stroked, and it can swallow and even get the hiccups. The retinas have become sensitive to light, so if a bright light is shined on your abdomen, baby will probably move to shield its eyes.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus, about the size of a cantaloupe, can probably be felt just below your navel. You're most likely feeling the baby move by now. A mid-pregnancy ultrasound may be performed between now and 22 weeks to assess the baby's growth and development and to verify the due date. If the baby is in the right position, the ultrasound may show whether it's a boy or a girl. Your heart has to work 40% to 50% harder now to support your pregnancy.

Tip of the Week: Could your partner go with you for the ultrasound? It's a chance to catch the first glimpse of your baby together.

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