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17 weeks pregnant: baby development and diet tips

Your little one now weighs more than 200g and is looking more and more like a “real” baby every day. Read more about this week.

2 mins to read May 12, 2021

As always, at 17 weeks pregnant, lots are going on this week. Her skin is still very thin and quite transparent, with small blood vessels visible through it. Your baby’s intestine continues to develop and is now in its permanent place in his abdomen. All is as it should be.

Grit your teeth: many older women still tell pregnant women stories about teeth falling out during pregnancy. Good news: That is outdated nonsense! For some women, the baby bump is now showing. If you are very slim, or have had a baby before, it is more likely that there is something to see. In others, at 17 weeks pregnant, no one can tell by looking. But this is the time when trousers or skirts get hard to fasten and waistlines are harder to discern.

Satisfying sugar cravings during pregnancy requires a little more creativity than it normally would, especially if yours seem stronger than usual. There is no harm in eating desserts, as long as you don’t overdo it. To satisfy your sweet tooth while meeting your nutritional needs, choose fresh fruit, desserts made with milk, plain yoghurt, and dried fruits. Moderation is key. Instead of ice cream, indulge in sorbets or frozen yoghurt with lower sugar.

Artificial sweeteners also known as ‘non nutritive sweeteners’, ‘sugar replacements’, or ‘zero-calorie sweeteners’, commonly include aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame K, saccharin, and sugar alcohols (e.g., xylitol), as well as plant-derived compounds (e.g., steviol glycosides). Although they are increasingly consumed by pregnant women around the world, their long-term health impact has been questioned. Some nutrition authorities indicate that within acceptable intake limits, these types of sweeteners are safe for women, and their unborn baby during pregnancy. Other evidence suggests that early-life exposure to artificial sweeteners may adversely affect body composition and cardio-metabolic health. As such, for the latest recommendations, check with your health care provider if you want to include these products in your diet at 17 weeks pregnant.