17 Weeks of Pregnancy | Second Trimester | Fetal Stage

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At 17 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus begins forming a layer of brown fat known as the adipose layer [1]. This fat will help them gain weight, define their features, and keep warm outside the womb.

The fetus receives nutrients and oxygen from the placenta, and the placenta removes fetal waste [2]. In addition, the placenta starts storing nutrients for use later in pregnancy [2]. It also provides an endocrine function, secreting hormones to maintain the pregnancy [2].

The fetus’s coordinated limb movements become stronger to the point where one may start to notice them. Quickening, or feeling the first fetal movements, may occur earlier in people who have been pregnant before.

1. Harms R, Wick M, editors. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. Boston: Da Capo Press; 2011.
2. Betts JG, Young KA, Wise JA, Johnson E, Poe B, Kruse DH, et al. 28.2 Embryonic Development. Anatomy & Physiology. Houston: OpenStax; 2013.

At Maila Health, we’re on a mission to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes and experiences through meaningful innovation in digital health. If you’re pregnant, postpartum, or raising a baby, we’re here to help ensure you get the support and quality health care you deserve.

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Produced and written by: Samantha Lattof, PhD MSc
Medically reviewed by: Ayodeji Olelakan Abere, MD MBA MHA
Animation by: SciePro / Pond5
Music by: audiomarket / Pond5
Narration by: Ava / Wellsaid


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.

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