Weight gain and baby’s development are common concerns of pregnant mothers. Read on to find answers to common queries associated with weight gain and baby’s development during the fourth month of pregnancy.
How much weight should I have gained by the end of this month?
By the end of this month, you would have completed 17 weeks of pregnancy. You should have gained about 4-5 pounds this month (a pound a week). Ideally, your total pregnancy weight by the end of this month should not be more than 7-8 pounds
How can I identify a foetal movement?
One of the most exciting and anticipated events of pregnancy is feeling of the first, tiny sensations inside the womb. Once the tiny sensations become vigorous kicks it is a sure shot sign of a pregnancy progressing well.
The first foetal movements usually resemble a gentle fluttering movement, a bump, nudge, twitch or bubbly feeling. Hence most women pregnant for the first time may not even notice the baby moving around. In case of a first pregnancy a woman may feel this fluttering sensation at around 18th to 20th week.
In case of subsequent pregnancies women become more aware and may feel the movements as early as 15 weeks. As a baby grows the fluttering movement may become more strong and regular. It may eventually become a kick or a thumping movement.
Should you worry if you have not felt your baby kick?
It is easy to notice a baby’s movement in the womb when you sit down or are relaxing. In case you are preoccupied in any activity chances of your noticing it are less. To put your worries about your baby not kicking to rest and make the baby move there are a few thing you can do. These include:
a) Lying down still on the left side with support under your baby bump.
b) Putting your feet up and relaxing.
c) Playing music to your stomach.
How is my baby growing?
At week 17, a baby in the womb will normally be full of life- flipping, flopping, kicking and thumping! You can feel the baby moving at this stage. If you already have not experienced your baby’s first kick chances are that you will very soon.
Although a baby starts moving in the first trimester itself i.e. around pregnancy week 7 or 8, it is only the second trimester that you will be able to sense it.
At this stage the baby will be about 11cm long from crown to rump and will weigh about 140g. Although the skeleton will comprise mostly of rubbery cartilage it will start hardening as the weeks go by. At week 17 a protective substance called myelin gradually begins to cover the spinal cord of baby. Sweat glands start developing all over the baby’s body. As the baby grows bigger, the umbilical cord which is the lifeline to the placenta becomes stronger and thicker, too.
The baby develops sucking and swallowing reflexes at this stage. Fingers and toes become well defined and the torso starts growing. The first tooth buds start appearing. Although most body parts and organs appear on the foetus and it resembles a human being in appearance, it will not be able to survive outside the uterus at this stage.
Physical appearance of the mom to be at week 17
By week 17 a pregnant woman’s belly grows significantly which causes the centre of gravity of the body to change. Hence it is common for women to occasionally feel a little unsteady on their feet. It is best to avoid situations where there are high risks of falling. It is advisable to wear low-heeled shoes to reduce the risk of falling over.