You’re nearing the end of the second trimester. You may be feeling anxious about giving birth. These feelings are natural; after all, pregnancy is a significant life event. Consult your health care provider about your feelings. Relax and enjoy this special time in your life. Your baby is the most active around this time. After a few weeks, he won’t have enough space in your womb to move around so much. Read on to find out how your baby is growing and how your body is changing during the 24th week of your pregnancy.
24 weeks pregnant
You are in the 24 weeks of your pregnancy, and your baby is developing rapidly and gaining weight too. You are now in the 6th month of the pregnancy, and there are just 3 more months to go. As your belly grows, you will find it more difficult to sleep. If you are struggling with insomnia, try to do some meditation to help you sleep better. Though pregnancy symptoms are lesser during the second trimester, your aches and pains may increase during this time.
1. Dry eyes
Pregnancy hormones can decrease tear production, which may dry out your eyes and lead to irritation. Use eye drops to manage dry eyes.
2. Swollen feet
You may find your shoes getting tighter as your pregnancy progresses. During pregnancy, fluid may build up in your feet, and your ligaments relax, causing the arch to drop and the feet to spread. Buy comfortable shoes to wear during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy hormones cause your intestinal muscles to relax, which can lead to constipation. Eat fiber-rich food and drink lots of water to prevent this condition.
4. Leg cramps
Leg cramps can be a sign of dehydration. Drink plenty of water, stretch your legs, and regularly go for walks.
When your growing uterus presses against the spine, it makes it more curved and strained. Improve your posture and take rest if the pain is too much.
6. Lower abdominal pain
As your uterus expands, the muscles that support it stretch, which may cause lower abdominal pain. If this pain becomes too bothersome, rest in a comfortable position. Avoid sudden movements.
7. Linea nigra
Around 80 percent of pregnant women develop a dark line that runs up the center of their belly. This line is known as linea nigra and is caused by pregnancy hormones. It fades away after the baby is born
8. Tender gums
Pregnancy hormones can make your gums tender. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss daily. Visit your dentist for a clean-up and a check-up.
Headaches are common during pregnancy. Hormonal changes are usually responsible for these headaches. If your headaches last for more than one day, are severe and are accompanied by nausea and vomiting, you must consult your doctor.
10. Stretch marks
As your skin stretches, you may develop stretch marks on your belly, hips, breasts, and buttocks. Though stretch marks never go away completely, they may fade over time.
Your body at week 24 of pregnancy
At 24 weeks pregnant, the doctors generally recommend a weight gain of around 14 to 16 pounds. You are now adjusting to your growing belly and your shifting center of balance. The top of your uterus is now 5 cm above our belly button. As the skin on top of your abdomen and breast stretches, it may become dry and itchy. Apply a moisturizer over it to prevent discomfort.
Your rib cage is also expanding to accommodate your growing lungs. Your rib cage will go back to its original size when the baby is born. Your kidneys are also working hard around this time. They are busy with the task of filtering the increased amount of blood in your body now.
Hormonal changes can also lead to changes in your hair and nail growth. Your nails may grow faster and longer than before. You may find hair growing in unusual places like face, abdomen, and around the nipples.
Your baby at week 24 of pregnancy
By the end of the 24th week, your baby will be over 12 ½ inches in length and will weigh around 1 ½ pounds.
- Your baby’s lungs are developing well. The respiratory sacks on the tips of the branches of your baby’s lungs are growing and multiplying.
- Your baby will gain more weight this week as brown fat is being deposited on his body. He will gain around six pounds each week now.
- Your baby is now developing the vestibular system. This system in the inner ear helps us to maintain our balance. Soon your baby can tell if he is upside down.
- His skin is still see-through but will soon become opaque.
- Your baby’s hair and lashes are still white because they lack pigment.
- Your baby’s reflexes are becoming more refined.
Tips to be followed when you are 24 weeks pregnant
1. Keep track of your weight gain
When you first got pregnant, your doctor would have given you a target weight depending on your initial weight. Keep a written record of how much weight you are gaining. If you are falling short of what your practitioner has recommended, it is time to step up your weight gaining efforts. Eat regular and nourishing meals that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
2. Hire a doula
A doula can help you with your delivery and early baby care. Doulas do not have medical training but can help support you emotionally. According to a study published in The Journal of Perinatal Education, moms with doulas are four times less likely to have a baby with low birth weight (LBW, two times less likely to experience a birth complication that involves themselves or their baby, and significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding (1).
3. Avoid stress at work
Calculate and plan out your work schedule. Take a break when you feel exhausted. Ask for help from your coworkers. Put a footstool under your desk to keep your legs elevated.
4. Watch out for urinary tract infection
As the uterus grows, it blocks the drainage of urine from the bladder, which can lead to urinary tract infection. The symptoms of UTI include a burning sensation while urinating, a need to urinate more than usual, and cloudy or smelly urine.
Your week 24 pregnancy doctor’s visit
Your doctor is likely to screen you for gestational diabetes between 24 to 28 weeks. This test involves having a sugary syrup and then having your blood tested after an hour. The normal result should be below 130 to 140 mg per decilitre.
If your results indicate high levels, you will need another test. During this test, your doctor will draw some blood after a period of fasting. Another test follows this test after drinking a sugary drink. This test checks your glucose tolerance.
If this test indicates you have gestational diabetes, your doctor will ask you to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If the problem persists, your doctor may put you on medication. Gestational diabetes affects 2 to 5 % percent of pregnant women. The symptoms include unusual thirst, frequents urination, nausea, and fatigue (2).
Tips for the partner
Your partner is still in her second trimester, and it is safe for her to travel. This period is the ideal time for you to plan a babymoon. You can choose a romantic getaway or a trip to a place where you both have always wanted to visit. Check with your doctor and your airlines before you book your flight.
You’re in the 24th week of your pregnancy and may be suffering from various aches and pains. Your baby weighs around 1 ½ pound and is gaining weight fast. Eat well, and also keep track of your weight gain. Your doctor may also screen you for gestational diabetes this week.