You and Your Baby at Week 24 of Your Pregnancy

(10 minute read)

You and Your Baby at Week 24 of Your Pregnancy

Week 24

Reaching week 24 of pregnancy is a significant milestone in your pregnancy. It is a period of rapid growth and development for the baby, as well as a time of considerable changes and experiences for you.

How Big is Baby at 24 Weeks?

Week 19 Fetus (32)

At 24 weeks, your baby is now considered "viable". This means that he or she could survive if born right now, providing the right support was given. But premature babies need a lot of care in specialist units to keep them warm and ensure they don't pick up any infections.

Typically, the foetus now measures about 30cm from head to toe and weighs approximately 1.3 pounds or 590g, roughly the size of a corn on the cob. However, it's important to remember that foetal sizes can vary significantly.

During this week, the baby's brain continues its rapid development. The taste buds are now fully developed, and the baby begins to taste the amniotic fluid. The lungs are developing surfactant, a substance crucial for breathing outside the womb. The baby's skin is still thin and translucent, but it will start to become more opaque. Movements become more coordinated, and you may start to feel stronger kicks and jabs.

Your Body at 24 Weeks

As your baby continues to grow rapidly, your body must constantly adapt in various ways to accommodate this growth.

Physical Changes

Expectant mothers typically gain about 14 to 16 pounds by this stage. The uterus is now the size of a football, and your expanding bump becomes more noticeable. You will most likely experience an increase in appetite as the baby requires more nutrients.

Common Symptoms in Week 24

Excess Hunger: At this stage you will probably start feeling extra hungry, but there is no need to eat any extra until you enter the 3rd trimester (from week 28).

Backache and Leg Cramps: The growing uterus puts pressure on the back and legs, leading to discomfort.

Swelling: Mild swelling of the feet and ankles is common due to increased fluid retention.

Heartburn and Indigestion: As the uterus expands, it can push against the stomach, causing digestive issues and constipation.

Braxton Hicks Contractions: These are "practise" contractions and are usually painless.

Skin Changes: Many women notice changes in their skin, such as stretch marks, pigmentation, and increased sensitivity.

Emotional Changes

Pregnancy hormones can affect your emotions, leading to mood swings. It is also common to feel anxious or excited about the upcoming birth and parenthood. Don't keep any negative feelings bottled up to yourself, seek support from your partner, friends or even a professional if need be.

 


Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy at Week 24

Nutrition

A balanced diet is essential during pregnancy. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products. Iron, calcium, and folic acid are particularly important, so supplements might be a good idea.

Avoiding alcohol is essential, as there are risks to your baby including miscarriage, premature birth and low birth weight. There is also the possibility of your baby developing learning difficulties and behavioural problems.

Exercise

Regular, moderate exercise like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga can help alleviate some symptoms, improve circulation, and boost mood. It is also a great way to meet other mums-to-be and share experiences.

Prenatal Care

Continue regular prenatal check-ups. These appointments monitor the health of both you and your baby, and provide an opportunity to discuss any concerns.

Rest and Relaxation

Getting enough rest is crucial. Make sure to get plenty of sleep and take naps during the day if needed.

Preparing for Baby

This is a good time to start preparing for your baby's arrival. Consider beginning to set up a nursery, purchasing baby essentials, and learning about newborn care. You can also start planning the birth; where you would like it to take place and so on. You can download a birth plan template from the internet.

 

Week 24 of pregnancy is a time of continued growth for both the baby and for you. If you understand the changes and know what to expect, it can alleviate some of your fears and also help you to cope with the continued challenges and changes that are happening to your body. Remember, always seek advice from your doctor or midwife for personalised help and support, and if anything is worrying you.

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