Fetal Development Week by Week – Week 17
About the size of an avocado now, your baby weighs about 6 ounces and is about 5 inches long. Over the next few weeks your baby is about to make a huge jump in size, nearly doubling their weight and getting much longer as well. This will help them to be more proportionate in size, letting the body catch up with the head.
Now the eyes are in the final position and the ears are just about done moving as well. Permanent teeth buds are forming behind the baby teeth buds that are already in place. The baby’s heartbeat can be clearly heard in the doctor’s office with special equipment.
Baby’s bones are becoming harder and a special substance, called Myelin, slowly forms a protective barrier for the spinal cord. Vernix, the protective sealant for baby’s skin is starting to form and cover the skin now, too.
As your uterus begins to grow and make room for the baby you may begin to experience round ligament pain now. This is normal and should subside with rest. Round ligament pain is felt on the sides of your abdomen. If the pain is severe or does not subside with rest you should talk with your health practioner.