Your baby’s face is almost fully formed at 24 weeks pregnant and they will be working their dinky little facial muscles to raise their eyebrows!
Let’s take a look at all the amazing things happening to your body and baby at 24 weeks pregnant.
How big is my baby?
Your baby at 24 weeks pregnant is now the size of a banana at about 12 inches in length and weighs around one pound. At this stage of your pregnancy, your baby will gain weight at the rate of around 5 ounces each week. The majority of that weight comes from baby fat, muscle growth and organ development.
What’s my baby doing this week?
Your baby’s brain is getting bigger and their body is filling out properly now. As you approach the end of your second trimester, your baby’s brain stem will almost be entirely developed.
The lungs should be maturing and will be producing surfactants, which helps keeps the air sacs in the lungs (alveoli) open. Their respiratory sacs, which sit at the top of the tiny branches of your baby’s lungs, will be growing, aiding the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide after your baby joins you in the big wide world.
Your baby will also be practising breathing in your womb this week, exhaling some amniotic fluid. In the very unlikely event that your baby was born at 24 weeks, they could actually survive in a ventilator! Things are really moving at a pace now and you should be extremely excited as your baby prepares itself for that first hug with mum.
Changes in my body at 24 weeks pregnant?
Some of the more common symptoms at 24 weeks pregnant include:
- Piles. You may be suffering from those dreaded piles. If you are, pop to your local pharmacists, or go and see your GP, and ask them to recommend a haemorrhoid cream to help with the pain and itching.
- Movement. It is very common to feel your baby moving from the outside now. Your baby is getting much bigger and other people may also be able to see your baby moving. As you move towards trimester three, you may even be able to recognise a foot or a hand!
- Belly love. You may start to notice that your pregnant belly attracts a lot of attention now. It’s normal for people (especially children) to want to touch your pregnant bump. Don’t feel bad if you would rather people didn’t pay that type of attention to your belly. It’s your body and not everyone likes having their belly touched when they are pregnant.
- Swollen feet. If you are suffering from swollen feet and ankles, make sure you elevate your feet whenever you are sitting down. Walking around can also help. Swelling in your ankles and feet is a normal, and common, pregnancy symptom. Should you start to notice swelling in areas like your hands, one of your legs or your face, contact your GP immedaitely. This type of swelling can often be a sign of preeclampsia, a worrying pregnancy complication.
- Cramping. This is often a sign of dehydration. Try to keep hydrated and make sure you move around as often as you can to stretch those legs!”
- Backache. As your baby grows, so too does your uterus. Your uterus will be the size of a volleyball at week 24 of pregnancy! This growth often places pressure onto your spine and can curve it slightly. When this happens your muscles in the lower back over componsate, which causes your pregancy backache. Alsways speak to your GP if you are struggling to cope with backache pain through your preganancy.
- Red, itchy palms. Sounds weird, right? Actually, it’s not that weird at all through pregnancy because of your raging hormones. Red, ichy palms and feet at week 24 weeks pregnant is caused by something known as palmar erythema. If you are suffering with ichy, red palms or feet make sure you contact your GP.
What you should be doing at 24 weeks pregnant
You need to tell work that you are pregnant and confirm what you want to do about maternity leave.
You should also speak to your midwife about taking a glucose screening test (GCT) which screens you for diabetes. The GTC screening test takes place around 24 weeks pregnant and checks to see if you’re at risk for gestational diabetes.
The test assesses how your body processes sugar. You will be asked to drink a sweet liquid called Glucola and then wait for around one hour.
After the hour is over, they will take some blood and test it to see how well your body processed the sugar. This test is complete to make sure your pregnancy stays healthy.