Your developing baby – week 17

by Kaiser Permanente |
Fetus at week 17, illustration

At week 17, your baby is around 5.5 inches from the top of the head to the bottom of the spine, weighs close to 5 ounces, and is about the size of a pear. Your baby is growing quickly now, about an inch every month.

At this time, the placenta is providing nutrients and oxygen to your baby, while removing the baby’s waste. In addition, your baby’s:

  • Eyes can move slightly from side to side.
  • Bones continue to grow and harden.
  • Sweat glands are forming.
  • Body fat is developing.

Your baby can move their joints, such as knees, elbows, and knuckles. And their heart rate is about 140 to 150 beats per minute, about twice as fast as your own.

This article has been created by a national group of Kaiser Permanente ob-gyns, certified nurse-midwives, pediatricians, lactation consultants and other specialists who came together to provide you with the best pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn information.

Some of the content is used and adapted with permission of The Permanente Medical Group.