Week 17



Does your back ache? About 8 in 10 women start complaining about physical aches and pains around this time in their pregnancy. While literally and figuratively a pain, it’s all perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. A nice long bath (warm, not hot) is the perfect way to soothe your sore spine and get some well-deserved “me time”. Be sure to light a few candles and play background music. Don’t compose to-do lists in your head, don’t read pregnancy books. Give yourself permission to have some time off and just enjoy the moment.


Check out your hospital’s schedule of classes for parents-to-be. Antenatal classes teach you how to look after your partner in pregnancy, what to pack into your suitcase if you’re planning a hospital birth, what to expect during labour, the advantages and disadvantages of pain relief, and the basics of caring for your newborn. Realistically, it’s a crash course, and you’ll graduate feeling that you’ve learnt heaps and, at the same time, that you don’t know enough. It’s a great forum to ask questions, voice concerns and share your experiences. You will also meet other local couples, who will form your support network in the first year of parenthood, and often beyond.


You are the size of a turnip, about 12cm long from your head to your bottom. You can move your joints. Your bones, currently made of soft cartilage, are hardening. The umbilical cord is thickening to allow more nutrients to pass from Mum to you as you grow bigger.