24 Weeks Pregnant
24 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development
Your little one is looking very ‘baby-like' these days. Everything is in proportion now, although your foetus is still a little on the skinny side. This will change as he or she plumps up and grows in size over the weeks and months ahead.
When you're 24 weeks pregnant, you and your little one have reached a very important milestone. In the event of a premature birth, your foetus's lungs and other organs may now be developed enough to give him a chance of surviving outside your belly in a modern neonatal care unit.
Of course, it's much better for your little one to stay in your belly until he's completely ready for life outside the uterus, but it's still reassuring to know that, from now on, the risks associated with your baby being born prematurely are getting a little lower with every passing week.
Now is a great time to read up on the signs of premature labour to be on the safe side. If you experience any of these symptoms which include regular or rhythmic contractions, an unusual backache or fluid trickling or gushing from your vagina, call your midwife or doctor straight away.
At 24 weeks pregnant you might be wondering how many months into your pregnancy you are. Well, the weeks of pregnancy don't slot neatly into months, but you're probably now in the early part of month 6 of your pregnancy.
If you're 24 weeks pregnant with twins or triplets, there's a higher chance of your babies being born a little earlier, but your doctor and midwife are aware of the extra risks associated with multiple pregnancies, and know best how to manage them.
You and your little ones will be monitored closely. Depending on the type of multiple pregnancy you're having, you'll be offered extra antenatal appointments to make sure everything is going smoothly.
How Big Is Your Baby at 24 Weeks?
Now that you're 24 weeks pregnant, your foetus is about the size of an ear of corn, measuring close to 30 centimetres from head to heel, and weighing in at around 600 grams.
Mum's Body at 24 Weeks Pregnant
If you'd like to know what being 24 weeks pregnant translates to in months, the answer is that you are now half way through month six.
As you get closer to the end of the second trimester, you've already been through so many changes. Some of these might be visible, many others less so.
Some mums-to-be have a clearly visible bump at 24 weeks pregnant, for others the bump hardly shows – no two pregnancies are the same!
If you experienced morning sickness during your early pregnancy, it's probably faded completely now that you're 24 weeks pregnant, although unfortunately it's possible to be bothered by lingering symptoms of nausea and vomiting in the later stages of pregnancy, too.
If you're experiencing severe nausea or vomiting, see your doctor to make sure it isn't caused by something other than the natural hormonal changes of pregnancy.
You should also talk to your doctor if vomiting is causing you to lose weight or become dehydrated.
Signs of dehydration include
being constantly thirsty
having pee that is dark yellow and strong smelling
feeling dizzy or lightheaded
having a dry mouth, lips or eyes.
Your pregnancy can affect you in other, less visible ways, too. For example, it's perfectly normal to go through periods of anxiety and doubt, no matter how excited you are about having a baby.
Things like changes in your lifestyle and financial worries can make you feel stressed and put a strain on even the strongest of relationships. It's important to talk through your feelings and any problems with your partner, or lean on your support network of friends and family.
Your midwife can also help you find support groups in your area. Sometimes seeking help from a neutral ‘outsider' can help you feel better. Don't be shy about seeking this kind of help. There are many resources available out there – you only need to ask!
24 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Skin changes. If you have any birthmarks, freckles or moles, they might have turned a few shades darker now that you're pregnant. You might also have a dark line down the middle of your belly, and your nipples may also be darker. The hormonal changes that go with being pregnant can affect skin pigmentation. These changes usually fade away gradually after you give birth, although there's a chance that your nipples won't return to precisely their original shade. If you're planning a babymoon in a sunny location, keep in mind that your skin could be more sensitive to the sun now. Stay safe by spending less time in the sun. When you do venture out, use a high-factor sunscreen on exposed areas of skin.
Stretch marks. You may notice these pink or purple streaks appearing on your belly, thighs and breasts. Stretch marks are harmless, and given time they usually fade away gradually to leave a faint silvery trace after your baby is born. There's not much you can do to prevent or get rid of stretch marks, although avoiding excessive weight gain might lower the likelihood of developing them. Massaging the skin and keeping it well-moisturised may also help a little.
Trouble sleeping. At 24 weeks pregnant and with only four weeks left until the third trimester, getting that all-important rest may not be so easy any more, especially if your bump is starting to get in the way. More frequent trips to the loo could also be interrupting your beauty sleep. Experts say it's best to sleep on your side when you're pregnant, as lying on your back for long periods can affect your foetus's blood and oxygen supply. To get more comfortable, try using pillows to support your growing bump. Putting another pillow between your knees can also help.
Leg cramps. You could be experiencing painful muscle spasms in your calf or foot at 24 weeks pregnant. These symptoms tend to be most common at night. Experts aren't exactly sure why leg camps strike during pregnancy. Anyway, massaging the area can help, as can getting regular exercise. Stretching your calves two or three times a day, including just before bed might also help. Here's how:
Stand facing a wall with your feet flat on the floor. Make sure you're standing far enough away from the wall that your arms are straight and your palms are flat on the wall.
Keeping your palms on the wall, bend your elbows and lean forward until you feel your calf muscles gently stretching.
Hold this position for two or three seconds before standing up straight again.
Repeat a few times, for up to five minutes.
24 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider
At 24 weeks pregnant and as your belly grows, you and your partner may be wondering whether sex is still safe. As long as your pregnancy is progressing normally, it's usually safe to keep enjoying sex if you and your partner both want to. If your pregnancy has complications, your doctor or midwife may advise you to abstain. Everyone's situation is different, so ask your doctor or midwife if you're in any doubt. Keep in mind, you and your partner's sex drive might vary at this time, so it's best to discuss your feelings about sex during pregnancy to help make sure you're both on the same page.
You'll probably need to go for a glucose tolerance test sometime between now and week 28. This is done to screen for gestational diabetes. You may have had a similar test already at 8-12 weeks if you've had gestational diabetes before, or if you were identified as having a higher risk based on questions asked at your first antenatal appointment. For this test, you'll be asked not to eat or drink anything overnight, and then have the blood test first thing in the morning. After this first blood test you'll be given a very sweet glucose drink, and asked to rest for a couple of hours. Then another blood sample will be taken so your doctor can see how effectively your body has processed the glucose.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you'll be monitored more closely and encouraged to make dietary and lifestyle changes to lower your blood sugar levels. If this doesn't do the trick, you may also be prescribed medication. Don't be alarmed if you do have this condition. As long as it's properly managed, gestational diabetes isn't likely to harm your baby, and it usually goes away after you deliver.
Have you discussed your labour with your birth partner? It's a good idea to talk things over well in advance with the person that you plan to have with you at the birth. Your birth partner might be your partner, or perhaps a trusted friend or close relative. The more your birth partner knows about your personal preferences and the kind of birth you'd like to have, the better they can support you when the time comes. It's also great if your birth partner can go with you to antenatal classes, to get a better idea of what might happen during the birth. Your birth partner can support you by helping with certain comfort measures like massages, and give you lots of encouragement and emotional support.
If you would like your birth partner to have the magical experience of cutting the umbilical cord, ask your midwife about this in advance, as there probably won't be time to discuss it at the moment of delivery. Check with your birth partner as well, to make sure they feel comfortable with it. Keep in mind that no birth is entirely predictable, but your midwife and doctor will do what they can to ensure your preferences are followed, whenever it's safe to do so.
Now that you're 24 weeks pregnant, you need to start making some changes to things like how you fasten your seatbelt. The lap strap of the seatbelt should go under your tummy and rest snugly on your pelvis. The cross strap should run between your breasts. Make sure that no part of the seatbelt is over your belly. Ask your midwife if you're unsure about how best to do up your seatbelt as your bump grows.
24 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor
What help is available if you're feeling down while pregnant?
Do you have any screening tests coming up soon?
Are there any foods you should be eating more of?
Are there any vaccinations you need to get while you're pregnant? When is the best time to have them, to ensure the best protection for you and your little one?
How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS).
The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
24 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
Feeling stressed? Why not join a prenatal yoga class?
Ask your midwife about getting the whooping cough jab during pregnancy. If you have this vaccination while pregnant, your baby will also be protected against this dangerous disease from the moment he or she is born. The best time to get this vaccine is somewhere between week 16 and week 32.
Talk to your partner about your new roles as parents and how it may affect your relationship
Sign up for even more pregnancy tips here :