Week 17Girl or boy?
This is usually an auspicious week in most pregnancies: an ultrasound examination can be used to determine whether you are expecting a girl or a boy. If the doctor is not yet able to verify your child’s sex, there’s no reason to be disappointed. Sometimes the baby’s position in the womb simply makes it difficult to reach a definitive conclusion. Although the penis appears at a 90° angle and the angle of the clitoris is much smaller, the position of these organs means they can be easily mixed up, depending on the viewing perspective.
Your baby is increasingly aware of external noises. So far it could only feel your heartbeat, but now it can also hear it – as well as your voice and other sounds. With a bit of luck, you may also be able to hear your baby: your child’s heartbeat should now be audible through a special stethoscope.
The size and shape of the baby bump varies greatly from person to person during this period. In any case, it is important that you regularly apply moisturiser to your stomach. This will help to prevent stretch marks from developing later on.
If you have darker skin, the pigment in your skin may change. In some places the skin can become dark and blotchy, and sometimes a dark line forms from the pubic bone to the belly button (the linea nigra). This is totally normal. However you should be a bit more cautious about sunbathing and ideally not go to the solarium.