24th Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Foods & Care

During this week your baby is thriving and growing but you may be a kind of a mess. You have entered the sixth of your pregnancy and some of the late pregnancy symptoms are probably starting.

24th Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Foods & Care

Only a few more weeks till you meet your bundle of joy, so hang in there.

What can you expect in week 24?

  • Your mood swings are going to be intense. You will continue to forget a lot of things because of your pregnancy things.
  • Your appetite and cravings will continue to increase.
  • Your baby now has a face and the vital organs are fully developed.
  • Those baby kicks and punches will have become more noticeable.

Common pregnancy symptoms in week 24

Right from the 1st to the Seventh Week of Pregnancy and more, few symptoms remain same. Some of your annoying 24 weeks pregnant symptoms are going to be:

Leg cramps- 

If leg cramps persist then it can be a sign of dehydration. So you need to increase your water intake and stretch regularly. If you are experiencing sudden and occasional leg cramps then consult your doctor to rule out any nutritional deficiency.

Backache- 

This symptom, unfortunately, might continue to persist. You can wear low-heeled shoes, do some gentle exercises such as stretching your back and you can even wear a belly support band to ease your discomfort. Consult your doctor if you experience any severe pain.

Linea Nigra-

If it had not developed earlier, this week it most definitely will. Linea nigra is a dark line that runs from the center of the belly. However, after a few weeks of delivery, this line will fade automatically. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome- 

You may experience your wrists and fingers going numb. Due to swelling of hands, fluids may accumulate in certain places and when you lie down, that blood will rush other parts of your body. This can lead to such a numbing sensation. Try not to sleep on your hands at night and you can prop your arms up at night with pillows. Try shaking your hands and practice hand stretching exercises.

Hemorrhoids- 

They form due to increased pressure that is exerted by your uterus on the blood vessels in your colon. The only way to avoid this is to get plenty of rest and to gain weight slowly and not excessively.

Braxton Hicks contractions- 

Braxton Hicks contractions (also known as “false contractions”) are a common phenomenon. If you haven’t experienced them yet, don’t be alarmed if you start feeling those contractions this week. They are typically supposed to be weaker than actual contractions. They sometimes tend to start strong but then they grow weaker. Consult your doctor for a better understanding of such contractions and to know how to deal with them.

The other symptoms that are likely to trouble you are swelling or Edema, stretch marks, constipation and indigestion, growing stretch marks, and increased vaginal discharge. Some women mistake the increased vaginal discharge to be leakage of amniotic fluid.

Don’t be alarmed because the heavy flow of vaginal discharge is normal but you can always consult your doctor to rule out loss of amniotic fluid.

Your Baby’s Development in Week 24

  • The brown fat, that had started to develop around your baby’s body a few weeks ago, will continue to be deposited. This fat helps to smoothen the wrinkles and also helps the baby to keep warm by retaining heat and regulating temperature. 
  • The branches in your baby’s lungs have started to form. There is also the formation of surfactant producing cells. Surfactant is a natural body chemical that will help to inflate alveoli or the tiny air sacs in your baby’s lungs when it will start to breathe.
  • Your baby has started practicing to breathe even though there is no air but only amniotic fluid in your baby’s lungs. 
  • Also by this week, the inner ear of your baby, which is responsible for controlling balance, is fully developed. If your baby starts to move around in your uterus, due to the newly formed sense of balance, it will now know when it is upside down.

Even though your baby is really small right now, a lot of doctors would say that it has reached its age of viability.

Size of your baby

  • Your 24 weeks old baby is now approximately 29 cm long. 
  • Your baby weighs approximately 480 grams and is about the size of a cantaloupe or an eggplant. During this period, your baby is growing rapidly by approximately 6 ounces per week.
  • Your baby still doesn’t make any consistent movement due to a lack of space. If don’t feel any movement for a couple of hours then you shouldn’t worry much. Nowadays there are a lot of apps available that will help you keep track of your baby’s movements. 

However, you should call your doctor if you don’t feel any movement for long periods. You will feel greater jerks or kicks in your belly if you drink any hot or cold beverages. This is because your baby can now respond to external stimuli of sudden temperature change. 

Body of the mother at week 24

By now you have most likely put on a quite a bit of weight. The recommended weight gain for normal BMI during this time is 14 to 17 pounds. If you have maintained a proper diet then you should not gain any excess weight.

  • At 24 weeks, the early pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and nausea should ease. Your body will continue to change but they won’t be very drastic. 
  • You may start experiencing false labor or Braxton Hicks contractions. They are supposed to be weaker than actual contractions. They sometimes tend to start strong but then they grow weaker. These contractions are usually irregular and they feel like a tightening of your lower abdomen. This tightening begins in the upper portion of the uterine muscles and then radiates downwards. Some women mistake them for actual contractions. You can talk to your doctor about the difference between the two.

Pregnant belly at week 24

  • There is no standard size of a baby bump at week 24. The size of your baby bump will depend on your pre-pregnancy weight, height, body, and the number of pregnancy. 
  • You will feel and notice your baby’s movements lesser if you have gained a bit more weight. If you don’t feel your baby kick strongly then it might be due to your weight gain, so don’t worry about it. If this is not your first pregnancy, then you might have a bigger baby bump.

However, if the baby bump is extremely large for week 24 to the point that your entire belly is covered in the stretch marks then you should consult your doctor. It could be due to excess amniotic fluid and your doctor may perform another ultrasound to make sure things are well. 

24 weeks ultrasound

During this week, your doctor will prescribe a Glucose Challenge Screening Test which checks if you are at risk of gestational diabetes. You will have to drink a sweet liquid known as Glucola and then you will have to wait for an hour. After an hour, your blood will be tested to check how the sugar will be processed by your body.

In case of any abnormal result, your doctor will prescribe another follow-up test known as glucose tolerance test. For this test, you will have to wait three hours before your blood is drawn to check if you have this condition.

Even if you do, then it won’t be that complicated. Your and your baby will be kept under greater monitoring which means more ultrasounds. On the bright, you will get to see your baby more often.

Sex at week 24 of pregnancy

If your doctor doesn’t advise you otherwise, it is safe to have sex during pregnancy. Sex during this phase of pregnancy will not increase the chances of miscarriage or premature labor. If there were any risks or complications in your pregnancy then your doctor would ask you to refrain from having sex. 

Tips and reminders for week 24

  • In addition to eating fresh and healthy, include iron in your diet. If you suffer from iron deficiency, talk to your doctor about iron supplements. Try eating smaller meals to reduce heartburn. Also drinking lots of fluid and hydrating is mandatory.
  • You have to keep exercising but only moderately. Avoid jumping or bouncing, backbends, dancing, and other moves that may make you overheated.
  • As your baby has already developed the ability to hear your voice, start collecting baby books to read to your baby. Be wary of loud noises as it can potentially wake up the sleeping baby in your womb.
  • Install apps that will help you to keep track of the movement of your belly. This will help you to understand your baby’s rhythm and movement pattern.
  • Remember that from this week onwards, doctors will treat your baby to have reached the age of viability. And as after the next few weeks, you will start experiencing nausea and extreme tiredness, now would be the best time to prepare and finalize the nursery, baby name, baby supplies like baby clothes, and a well-stocked diaper bag. That way you will be prepared even if you have premature labor.
  • Before you start feeling too tired, you should complete baby-proofing your house and adjust your living space to welcome your new family member

As you will become a mom soon, it is a good idea to go through the best Advice for New Parents, so that when your little one comes along, you seldom face difficulties. 

Here are Some Frequently Asked Questions for 24th Week Of Pregnancy

How many months is week 24?

In week 24, you are in the sixth month of pregnancy. It is the second month of your second trimester. 

How many weeks to go?

Only 16 weeks to go. 

Can I feel the baby’s movement at week 24?

Your baby has started moving the tiny arms and jerking the legs and you will be able to feel them. If you get an ultrasound in week 24, you will also see your baby moving around and probably sucking on its tiny fingers. 

Will my stretch marks fade away after delivery?

Within a few months of your delivery, your stretch marks will fade away considerably. The stretch marks don’t however vanish away completely.

When to call the doctor?

You should call your doctor if you experience severe nausea, bleeding, severe stomach pains, fluid leakage, or blurred vision. If you start to feel your baby moving every day and then notice no movement for about 12 hours, even though it might be nothing but still it will be best to call your doctor and get a check-up.

Talk to your doctor about the fake contractions and their frequency. Ask your doctor the normal frequency of false contractions that is perceived normal. Also inform your doctor about the frequency of your baby’s movements. You should know from your doctor the healthy number and frequency of baby kicks. 

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