24 Weeks Pregnant
Greetings! If you woke up today morning wondering how many weeks pregnant am I, well you are already 24 weeks pregnant and well into the sixth month of your pregnancy. You and your baby have grown and matured and there is only one third of the journey left now. Soon your little one will be spreading smiles around you. Your baby this week is as big as a corn approximately 30 cm tall and weighs around 600 grams.
How Your Baby is Growing This Week?
The angel face of your little one is formed and resembles a cute baby face by now. The eyes, nose, ears and mouth are completely formed and the head sports hair and yes, there are eyebrows too! The hair is still white and the pigmentation will gradually start in the coming weeks. The eyes are still shut and will open somewhere around the 27th week.
The lungs are undergoing an important development this week. The pulmonary tree is branching and the cells are beginning to secrete a substance called “surfactant” which will help the pulmonary cells to inflate once the baby takes its first breath. This is in preparation to receive air into the lungs once the baby enters the outside world. Your little champ is currently practicing breathing techniques with amniotic fluid.
By week 24, the inner ear is completely developed so the baby can hear sounds and also understand and perceive his position whether straight or upside down.
The fetal movements which began when you were 20 weeks pregnant have now become more prominent and predictable. The baby still has space to move about in the amniotic fluid. But by the time you are 30 weeks pregnant the space will reduce as the baby will be bigger. You will notice the movements getting less frequent then.
Changes in Your Body at 24 Weeks Pregnant
Today it’s been 20 weeks since your pregnancy test came positive and the early signs of pregnancy are now replaced by more complex symptoms like round ligament pain. The uterus has grown and is now 2 inches above your belly button so you can well imagine where your stomach is! Yes the abdominal organs are pushed upwards to accommodate the growing baby.
Many pregnant women at this stage complain about pain and swelling at the wrist joint. This is “Carpal Tunnel syndrome” which occurs when the median nerve passing by the wrist gets entrapped. In this case, it is caused due to the oedema of the surrounding tissues. The symptoms you may feel are tingling, numbness of palm and painful wrist movements. Support the hand when sleeping and try some hot fomentation for relief. This is a self limiting condition however, if the pain is very severe, one may need surgical intervention.
Your sexual drive may be at a peak in the second trimester. While it is completely safe to indulge in sex, it’s also good to know when to abstain. In case you have a history of bleeding during pregnancy, a diagnosed placenta praevia or you are at a risk of preterm labor, it is better to keep sex off your mind.
Week 24 Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of pregnancy week by week may not change much but you will definitely see a fluctuation in their intensity. By now you are well aware of the early pregnancy symptoms and the normal signs and so, it’s a good time to know a few alarming signs as you near the end of your pregnancy so that you are better prepared. Bleeding from vagina, sudden gushing of watery pregnancy discharge, contractions or cramps coming on at regular intervals are few symptoms you need to watch out for.
- Itchiness of skin over abdomen, breasts and back
- Braxton Hicks contractions
- Stretching pains as the uterus grows bigger
- Stretch marks
- Breast and nipple changes
- Leg cramps
- Chloasma or mask of pregnancy
- Linea Nigra
- Sleep disturbances
- Itching of skin without eruptions
- Frequent urination
- Mood changes
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Engorgement of breasts
- Vivid dreams
- Feeling baby’s movements
- Steady weight gain
- Visible baby bump
- Darkening of certain areas of skin like armpits
- Varicose veins over legs
- Feeling breathlessness on little exertion
You may notice small nodules developing around the areola of your breast. These are called “Montgomery tubercles” and are a part of preparing the breast for lactation. A yellowish sticky liquid may also ooze out of the nipples some times.
Diagnostic Tests and Ultrasound Results in Week 24 of Pregnancy
The ultrasound performed at 24 weeks pregnant period week will show the baby moving in the amniotic fluid. The movements are better defined as compared to the earlier jerky and random ones. The growth parameters like head circumference and crown rump length are checked.
Heart rate, placenta, cervix and amniotic fluid are normally measured in every visit.
Between now (24 weeks pregnant) and 28 weeks pregnant, you will be advised for a diabetes screening test called as Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). Uncontrolled diabetes puts the mother at a risk for preterm labor and the chances of normal delivery go down as diabetic mothers tend to have big babies. Ladies who develop gestational diabetes (diabetes associated with pregnancy), are also at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Pregnancy Health Tips
- Use cocoa butter creams or moisturizers for the itchy skin. Avoid scratching too much as you will bruise yourself.
- Wear a good fitting bra to support your growing breasts. Also maintain good hygiene and clean the nipple and areola regularly.
- Get up slowly from a lying down position. Sudden jerky movements can give rise to round ligament pain.
- Sleeping on your left side is advisable as it improves circulation.
- Avoid outside food or canned food. Be very watchful of preservatives used in packaged foods.
- Go for walks regularly and avoid over-straining exercises.
- Be watchful of your blood sugars and avoid taking too much of sweet drinks or aerated drinks. Rather choose fruit or vegetable juices and coconut water.
- Listen to soothing and soft music. Your baby will enjoy it with you.