17 weeks pregnant – I don’t look pregnant – I look fat!

17 weeks pregnant - clothes hangar
17 weeks pregnant – I don’t look pregnant – I look fat!
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On Saturday, I took my sister-in-law to Primark in Central London, which was a nightmare. I don’t think I had ever been in such a claustrophobic situation before.  I got elbowed and pushed in the belly so many times that after ten minutes I had to get out. 

It was a really hot day and I was looking forward to my trip to North Cyprus next week. But, I was worried about the heat because I couldn’t even handle the heat in the UK. I felt so uncomfortable all the time, especially now that I was experiencing the oh-so-embarrassing (and ever-so-annoying) discharge. I heard it was pretty normal, though, so I guess had to grin and bear it. I figured panty liners should help me to feel less uncomfortable. 

I’m really excited about my 20-week scan. I get to see my little baby boxer again very soon! Hubby and I are so certain that it’s a boy that we’ve started thinking of boy names. We seem to keep arguing about it though and can never agree on names, but one thing we can agree on is that we definitely want to find out the sex of the baby.  

My boobs are not achy anymore but they have definitely grown! I need to go to a bra fitting because none of my bras fit anymore. I took my husband to Marks and Spencers and Mothercare for a bra fitting. M&S reckoned I was a 34E and Mothercare thought I was a 32F!!! Hmmm… I’m going to get a third opinion…  

Hubby kept bringing me maternity swimsuits to try on but the whole process got me really depressed. The bump just makes me look like I have eaten too many pies! So, I opted for a tummy control sexy red swimsuit and a kaftan to hide the bump. Until my bump starts making me look pregnant, I’m going to hide it with clever clothes, so I don’t just look fat. 

I also bought some maternity bras in a 36e (32 and 34 were too tight) and a sun hat, as well as some support tights for the plane ride. I told work that I was going to North Cyprus for two weeks and they told me that, as my temporary position was due to end in the middle of my holiday, it would probably be best to work up until the day before I go away. I agreed and decided not to think any more about my work situation. I had already applied for quite a few jobs before I knew I was going away, so I was scheduled to hear back from some of them when I got back from holiday. It’s hard to look for jobs when you’re pregnant as you’re not really a desirable candidate, but there’s nothing I can do about that right now except wait for potential jobs to come up. I’ll deal with it all when I get back. Time to hit holiday mode! 

A fun fact – The baby is nearly 11cm long and weighs about 140g – about the size of a large apple!

Your baby at 17 weeks

  • Your baby is busy growing skin receptors – ‘tact corpuscles’ – that will allow them to feel.
  • Your baby is occupied at the moment with sucking and swallowing – all in preparation for that first feed!
  • Their eyelashes and eyebrows are starting to grow and their unique set of fingerprints are starting to form.
  • Your baby’s eyes are still fused shut
  • Your baby’s hearing is also maturing and may move more if you play music to them.
  • Their head is much more in proportion to the body now and the bones are hardening and getting stronger by the day.

Your pregnancy signs and symptoms

  • This is the time for some women when their bump starts to show.
  • You may be experiencing a stuffy nose or even a nosebleed. This is down to increased blood flow and pregnancy hormones which cause the membranes inside your nose to swell up. If you find that nasal congestion is keeping you up at night, then you can purchase nose strips or humidifiers to help ease your nasal passage. It may also help to prop your head up with an extra pillow.
  • You may start to feel a little off balance as your centre of gravity starts to change, thanks to your growing bump!
  • You may start to sweat more due to the extra blood in your system as well.
  • Have you started to feel flutters in your tummy yet? Around this time you might start to notice your baby moving around inside, although if you’re a first-time mum, this may not happen for a few more weeks yet.
  • Have you started to notice a line down the middle of your belly yet? This is called your linea nigra – if you don’t have it, don’t worry, not everyone gets it.
  • You might also be experiencing weird dreams – this may be down to your hormones, but also you may be feeling nervous and in anticipation of your impending birth.
  • Are you experiencing itch breasts and tummy? Your skin is starting to stretch as your baby is growing, so make sure you moisturise your skin well to prevent stretch marks

Your next steps

  • If you haven’t done so already, think about exercises like pregnancy yoga and swimming, that will provide your body with support as it goes through all the changes.
  • Keep eating the right foods – fats are very important but too much can make you put on weight. Stick to good fats and steam or grill food.
  • Your immune system has been suppressed to allow your body to grow your baby, so you may be more susceptible to colds. Don’t worry if you have the sniffles or tummy aches as these don’t harm your baby. But, notify your doctor if you experience any other illnesses to make sure you have been prescribed the right medication because not all painkillers are suitable for pregnancy.
  • Do you know what your maternity rights are if you’re working? Find out what you are entitled to and when. Check out Money Advice Service’s guide to Maternity Pay and Leave for more information.
  • Get ready for your 20-week scan. It’s coming up very soon. Will you find out your baby’s gender?

Note:  These are just general ideas of how you and your baby are getting on. Don’t forget that every baby develops differently. If you are concerned about your baby’s development, please consult your doctor or midwife.

*Illustrations by Charlotte Watkins. 

If you have any questions about her work, please contact Charlotte via her website, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn*

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Leyla Preston (595 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked!You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/