As the second trimester progresses, the development of your baby continues. By now, your baby should weigh about 150 grams, will have a face that looks completely human, and will start to develop eyebrows and lashes. Their eyes are still shut, but they begin to have rapid eye movement – which is something their mommies would love to have as they typically begin to have difficulty sleeping during pregnancy week 17, and till the end of their term!
Your baby is having a wonderful time inside your tummy; continuing to grow, discovering cool new things about themselves – such as those developing fingers and toes – as well as starting to become much more physically active. This activity is noticed by most mommies, and although you might question whether you're feeling an earthquake inside your belly or if it's the baby – trust that during pregnancy week 17, the bond between mother and baby really starts to build and strengthen.
The middle part of the second trimester is traditionally focused on improving efficiencies of their tiny bodies as opposed to rapid growth. However, by now, your baby that once weighed 25 grams just four weeks ago is now tipping the scales at nearly six-times that amount – 150 grams (thank goodness we don't increase our weight by six-times during our pregnancy!) Their toes and fingers are quickly evolving as is their heart. It's typically during week 17 that your baby's heartbeat is now being controlled by the brain at a rate ranging from 137 to 150 beats per minute.
Other internal organs such as lungs, kidneys, liver and intestines are quickly evolving and beginning to work in a harmonious balance that has baffled medical scientists for centuries. They are becoming more active during what may seem to be all hours of the night. The brain and central nervous system is in working order and they continue to develop further with each passing day.
It's during week 17 that most mothers begin to connect with their babies through physical activity. Although it's common for them to have 'felt' a kick a few weeks ago, this is usually the time when the baby begins to wiggle around with more pronounced action. This action typically stimulates a tremendous amount of excitement – even for the most low-key individual. But the most common question that new mommies ask is; "what does this feel like"?
Many soon to be moms tend to describe this feeling as floating bubbles inside their tummy while others claim it feels like butterflies circling somewhere inside the embryotic sac. Yet others claim it feels like popcorn popping! In any case, you know it when you feel it!
It's also typical for you to feel more energetic; so make sure to keep physically active and healthy. Your doctor should prescribe a physical activity regimen that is light impact but keeps you moving during the entire pregnancy.
One of the more 'interesting' workouts that OBGYN's and doctors recommend for soon to be mommies is a pelvic floor exercise (and no – they're not preparing you to enter the Olympic Games). This exercise is designed to increase the strength of your pelvic muscles – which holds the womb, bladder and lower bowel in place but will come into play bigtime during child birth. Not only do these exercises help to strengthen those core muscles for the labor of childbirth, but they can also help you avoid the all-too-common uncontrollable 'leakage' that many women experience during those uncontrollable fits of laughter during pregnancy.