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    Preparing for the inaugural breath.

    The side view of a fetus in the seventeenth week

    Your baby’s development

    Getting ready for breathing and, yup, more growing!
    This week, your baby’s lungs are almost able to function. Her air passages will finish branching as her lungs prepare to take in oxygen. During your 17th week of pregnancy:

    • Little hiccups continue, only now you might feel them.
    • A necessary fat called brown fat develops under your baby’s skin. This will help keep her warm after birth. Additional fat layers will develop later in pregnancy.
    • Your baby is about 4.5 to 5.5 inches long, about the length of a large orange.
    A collection of eggs, fish and meat

    Your nutrition and health

    Continue boosting your pregnancy diet.
    As you know, eating a balanced diet with colorful, nutritious foods and taking a prenatal multivitamin significantly impact you and your baby’s health.

    During your 17th week of pregnancy, it’s important to continue with these specific nutrients (be sure to check with your doctor before making any significant dietary changes):

    • Protein: lean beef, chicken, turkey, pork, beans, tofu
    • Iron: lean red meat, chicken, pork, fish, beans and iron-fortified whole-wheat breads and cereals
    • Calcium: Nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and soy products that are fortified with calcium
    • Folic acid (folate): Leafy green vegetables, broccoli, and breads and cereals that are fortified with folic acid
    • Vitamin C: Orange juice, citrus fruits, bell peppers
    • Zinc: Meat, seafood, dried beans, chickpeas, and breakfast cereals that are fortified with zinc
    Sliced avocados

    Things to think about now

    Keep the B12 in your bonnet.
    You don’t have to obsess about it, but you definitely don’t want to forget about vitamin B12. An essential B vitamin for the formation of all body tissues, it’s also important for the correct genetic code replication in cells.

    Vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin, so vegetarians should look for sufficient amounts from food sources that are allowable under the dietary guidelines, or from proper supplementation.

    Here is a list of common foods that contain vitamin B12:

    Food Serving Amount of B12
    Milk 8 oz 0.9mcg
    Yogurt 8 oz 0.8mcg
    Kellogg’s® Special K® cereal 1 cup 6 mcg
    Eggs 1 egg 0.4 mcg
    RED STAR® Nutritional yeast Vegetarian Support Formula 1 Tbsp. 4 mcg

    Women who do not consume meat or dairy foods should discuss with their healthcare professional the need for a supplemental source of vitamin B12 during pregnancy, such as a prenatal vitamin that contains 100% RDA for vitamin B12.

    Find more foods rich in essential nutrients for your pregnancy.

    Kellogg’s Special K and Red Star Nutritional Yeast Vegetarian Support Formula are not trademarks of Abbott Laboratories.

    What happens next week

    Growing by leaps and bounds.
    Your baby’s number 1 priority this week is growth. You may even feel your baby start to move.