At week twenty-four, the baby is almost an entire foot in length! Similar in size to an ear of corn, your little one measures in at 11.9 inches and weighing about 1.4 pounds.
Believe it or not, your baby has now become robust enough to feasibly survive a premature birth. Referred to as being “viable,” your baby is now at the point that if they were born sometime this week, they have lungs that have undergone enough development to ensure survival in an initial placement in a neonatal unit.
However, your baby has no desire to come out any earlier than it has to! Warm and cuddled within your nurturing womb, your baby is having an absolute ball dancing, eating, listening, and engaging newly acquired senses as he or she learns more and more about the world around them.
With their rapidly growing brain, your baby is processing new information at lightning speed.
Recently, her or his range of favorite entertainment activities received a new addition in the form of the ability to try out all different kind of facial expressions by squinting, grimacing, and raising their eyebrows high upon their forehead.
In time, your newborn will eventually learn how to use their facial muscles to react to environmental stimuli, in addition to learning how to convey their feelings and thoughts.
While your baby is happy as can be, you, on the other hand, may not be so content at this point in your term. The upswing in energy, well-being, and stamina that you experienced in recent weeks may begin to dwindle, as a range of late pregnancy symptoms start showing up in varying degrees of intensity.
Read on below to learn more about week twenty-four of pregnancy and all of its many riveting aspects!
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Your Physical and Emotional Health: 24 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
You may ask yourself in week twenty-four which symptoms you aren’t experiencing!
For many pregnant women, week twenty-four can feel nightmarish. Often completely dwindled away is the upswing in energy, well-being, and stamina experienced in recent weeks.
Replacing all those good feelings are a litany of late-pregnancy symptoms that may have you groaning in frustration. Familiar conditions like leg cramps, backaches, body pain, swollen hands and feet are just a few of the symptoms that increase in severity during week twenty-four. Joining the entourage of familiar symptoms are new conditions such as light sensitivity and eye discomfort.
Your eyes may feel very sensitive to light and feel very dry and uncomfortable. While discomfort from dry eyes can be easily treated with artificial tears and a variety of eye-specific ointments, it’s best to consult with your doctor first to see what their recommendations are, since even something as seemingly innocuous as over the counter treatments for dry eyes can pose a risk for pregnant women.
Your doctor will also ensure that your eyes are in optimal health and are free from scarring, infection, and more.
Stretch marks can become even more prevalent during this time in your pregnancy and show up in places that you wouldn’t expect, such as your upper arms and buttocks. To help with the itching associated with stretch marks, rub on soothing natural creams or oils made from coconut, almond, or jojoba to nourish your skin and also help improve the overall appearance of stretch marks.
Symptoms commonly experienced in week twenty-four of pregnancy include the following, many of which are experienced at a level of increased severity:
- Fatigue and lethargy: Week twenty-four heralds in a new era for energy levels. Gone are the increased energy, stamina, and endurance you recently experienced and are now replaced with the fatigue and lethargy you may find very familiar from other points in time during your pregnancy term.
Often pregnant women will feel frustrated and depressed at the resurgence of fatigue and lethargy. It’s not anything to fret about; pregnancy offers a wide spectrum of emotions, sensations, and feelings.
There will inevitably be ups and down and you have to remember that you are in the midst of the incredible process of creating a beautiful human being within you.
It’s hard work! Congratulate yourself and if you feel fatigued, take a nap to wake up refreshed and in a better mood.
- Braxton Hicks contractions: Stay hydrated and remember these contractions are happening to prepare you for your big day
- Backaches: Comfort yourself with warmth, heat, soft pillows, and gentle exercise
- Trouble breathing: Be ready to take frequent breaks by sitting down and focusing on breathing. Do not exert yourself; pass off labor-intensive tasks to your partner or family members
- Facial hair: While hair on your head may retain its thick and lustrous look, your facial hair may start growing at a rapidly increased level as well. Take it in stride and pluck away!
- Mild swelling: Try to keep your feet elevated as much as possible
- Blurry vision: Remember to keep hydrated and keep a careful lookout for excessive swelling
- Weight gain: Weight gain will be ongoing during this period in your term
- Increased vaginal discharge: Par for the course, this symptom will often worsen during this time and become much more frequent
- Sex drive: Sex drive commonly diminishes during week twenty-four
- Condition of skin: Continue to enjoy your flushed, rosy skin and unmistakable pregnancy glow
Your Baby’s Health and Status: 24 Weeks Pregnant Baby
Steadily growing, your baby’s body is filling out and inevitably taking up more room within the confines of your uterus.
Strong, robust, and able to perform a variety of cool tricks, your baby is still a dainty little thing with thin, fragile skin that is see-through. Your baby’s skin is so translucent that it is possible to see the range of blood vessels, organs, bones residing beneath it.
As it continues to grow, your baby’s skin will take on an increasingly pink-toned, fresh glow due to the formation of the innumerable capillaries beneath their skin. In a few months’ time, their skin will continue to thicken and will take on a more opaque appearance.
In terms of energy, your baby is highly active. Engaging in all different kinds of moves, your little kiddo is flipping, diving, dipping, rolling, and dancing the day and night away.
Babies are at their most active and energetic from twenty-four to twenty-eight weeks, so you can expect a surge in movement from your baby for the next month or so.
After the twenty-eight-week mark, your uterus walls are closing in, and there’s not enough room for your little one to engage in all of its dancing, acrobatics, and various kung-fu moves that it has been perfecting for the past few weeks.
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge at 24 Weeks Pregnant
- Remember that absolutely exhausted feeling you felt in the first three months of pregnancy? It will set back in for you. Adjust your routine accordingly, make time for plenty of rest and take it easy.
- Try to have your partner, friends, and family help you out with as many tasks and chores as possible
- Stay positive: A positive mindset can be extremely valuable and get you through the roughest times in your pregnancy
- Remember, you are in the process of creating a human life; as beautiful as this amazing journey is, it’s not easy. Applaud yourself and have conviction in your strength and abilities
- Be vigilant about looking out for preterm labor alerts in the form of cramps that are similar to menstrual cramping, a significant change in vaginal discharge, a constant dull ache in your lower back area, chronic uterine contractions, and gushing fluid from your vaginal area. Pay close attention to your body. Sudden changes warrant an immediate trip to your doctor.
- At about the twenty-four-week mark, your doctor will be ordering you a Glucose Challenge Screening Test that will screen for your risk of gestational diabetes. The test takes a highly detailed look at how your body processes and digests sugar and involves a requirement to drink a special drink called Glucola.
You’ll have your blood drawn after about an hour, and your blood will then be tested to determine how your body is processing and breaking down sugars. If in the event abnormal results are found, you will be required to take an exam called a glucose tolerance test. Measuring how your body processes sugars over a period of three hours, this secondary test can conclusively determine if you do in fact have gestational diabetes.
If gestational diabetes is found, it’s not a significant problem and does not need to instill fear within pregnant women. All that the condition entails iscounseling on how to keep your condition at an optimal level for your health and that of your babies.
The worst that can happen is that you will have to go into your doctors for a bit of extra monitoring and additional ultrasounds – and every woman loves looking at their baby on ultrasounds anyways!
To-Do List and Reminders at 24 Weeks Pregnant
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Ensuring you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D, and vitamin C
- Keeping well hydrated and drinking plenty of water
- Engaging in low-resistance, low impact exercise
- Practicing pelvic floor exercises
- Staying away from harmful chemicals and cleaners
- Keeping a lookout for any severe symptoms
- Maintaining a positive attitude
Other goals right now should include the following:
(If you find they are overwhelming to you, enlist the help of your partner, family, and friends)
- Getting your life insurance in order
- Opening a savings account for your baby
- Creating or amending your will or living trust
- Getting your baby’s nursery prepared for their homecoming
- Stocking up on baby supplies such as diapers, wipes, and more
Upcoming goals to integrate into your schedule are as follows:
- Take your glucose challenge test and if necessary your glucose tolerance test
- Schedule your 28-week prenatal visit
- Begin baby-proofing your home
- Familiarize yourself with preterm labor symptoms and be on a vigilant lookout for any indications of it
- On a daily basis go over immediate goals, upcoming goals, and goals pertaining to exercise, nutrition, and health
Preterm labor: Is the term for labor that begins prematurely, before the 37th week of pregnancy. Resulting from contractions in the uterus that cause the cervix to open earlier than it is supposed to, it can cause premature birth and put your baby at risk for many health problems.
Look out for menstrual-type cramping, changes in vaginal discharge, chronic back pain, and gushing from the vagina. If any fluid starts to gush from your vagina, you will need to seek immediate medical attention.
Cool Things to Know
- As your baby’s taste buds are forming, they will grow a preference and cracking when they are born for the same tastes and foods they experienced in the womb. If you tend to eat a lot of sugar, your baby may very crave sugary foods. Be mindful of what you put in your mouth and focus on eating a wide range of healthy foods
- Amazingly, throughout all the activity they have been engaged in, your baby’s eyes have remained completely fused closed. Despite their closed position, his or her eyes are fully formed now, with the exception of having pigment. As of this point, baby’s eyes are pigment-free, and the color will start to fill in over the coming months, with the final color and hue ultimately settled after birth.
Ready to find out what’s next in your pregnancy journey?