Pregnancy information

Your baby at 17 weeks

By the time you're 17 weeks pregnant, your baby is growing quickly and now weighs around 150g.

The eyebrows and eyelashes are beginning to grow. Your baby's eyes can move now, although the eyelids are still shut, and the mouth can open and close.

The lines on the skin of the fingers are now formed, so the baby already has their own individual fingerprints. Fingernails and toenails are growing, and the baby has a firm hand grip.

You at 17 weeks

You'll be offered ultrasound scans in pregnancy, including the mid-pregnancy anomaly scan offered between 18 weeks and 21 weeks and 6 days. You might hear some people call this the "20-week scan".

When you're pregnant, the safest approach to alcohol in pregnancy is not to drink it at all. Your baby cannot process alcohol as well as you can, and it can seriously affect their development.

Bleeding from the vagina may be a sign of serious problems, so seek help if you experience vaginal bleeding in pregnancy.

Find out what foods to avoid in pregnancy and how to have a healthy diet.

Your baby at 18 weeks

The baby moves around quite a bit, and may respond to loud noises from the outside world, such as music. You may not feel these movements yet, especially if this is your first pregnancy. If you do, they'll probably feel like a soft fluttering or rolling sensation.

You at 18 weeks

Stomach (abdominal) pain in pregnancy is common, and can be caused by constipation, wind, or "growing pains" as your ligaments stretch to support your growing bump. But abdominal pain can sometimes be a sign of something serious.

You may also get headaches in pregnancy. This is common, but could be a sign of something serious if the headaches are severe.

Your baby at 19 weeks

Your baby is putting on a bit of weight, but still does not have much fat, so if you could see your baby now, they would look a bit wrinkled. The baby will continue to put on weight for the rest of the pregnancy and will "fill out" by the last few weeks before birth.

You at 19 weeks

You might feel your baby move for the first time when you're around 17 or 18 weeks pregnant. If this is your first baby, you may notice the first movements between 18 and 20 weeks pregnant.

At first, you feel a fluttering or bubbling, or a very slight shifting movement. Later on, you cannot mistake the movements, and can even see the baby kicking about. Often, you can guess which bump is a hand or a foot.

There's no set number of baby movements you should feel. The important thing is to get to know your baby's usual pattern of movements. Once you start to feel your baby's movements, you should feel your baby moving right up until they're born.

If you think your baby is moving less than usual or there is a change to your baby's usual pattern of movements, call your midwife or maternity unit immediately. Your baby will need to be checked. Do not use a home handheld scanning device (Doppler) as these are not reliable – even if you hear a heartbeat, it does not mean your baby is well.

Your baby at 20 weeks

By 20 weeks, your baby's skin is covered in a white, greasy substance called vernix. It's thought this helps protect the skin during the many weeks in the amniotic fluid.

You at 20 weeks

At 20 weeks pregnant, you're halfway through your pregnancy. You may develop a dark line down the middle of your tummy. This is normal skin pigmentation as your tummy expands to accommodate your growing bump.

Normal hair loss slows down, so your hair may look thicker and shinier.

You can find more information on pregnancy in the 'Your Pregnancy and Birth book'.

Last Updated: 21/07/2023 10:55:37
The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website