24 Weeks Pregnant

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Hey mom, you’re now 24 weeks pregnant and your baby is growing at a very fast pace. Let me tell you what to expect during this week of the pregnancy.

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Mommy Matters

One side effect of pregnancy is something that is not pleasant to think about and even less pleasant to experience and that is piles or to give them their official name, hemorrhoids. It is quite a common complaint about pregnant women, unfortunately. As with varicose veins in your legs, the veins in your bottom can stretch and then blood collects in them followed by swelling and pain. They are common in pregnancy because of your hormones.

Mother’s expanding belly nudges against the stomach resulting into heartburn and acid reflux.

Your digestive system may not be as it should be and if you’re suffering from constipation you are probably straining when you go to the toilet. This puts extra pressure on the veins in your bottom. Symptoms are itchiness of the anus and bright red blood on the toilet paper and in the toilet. The good news is that piles are easily treated with creams that your doctor can recommend to you.

You will notice your abdomen expanding quick as it stretches to accommodate your rapidly growing baby. As your belly protrudes outward and rises, it presses on your diaphragm, and you may feel breathless. It also nudges against your stomach, which can lead to heartburn and acid reflux.

Baby Watch

The nostrils are open, and the adult teeth buds are developing in the gums. By the end of this trimester, the fetal heartbeat has slowed to 140–150 beats a minute.

At 24 weeks pregnant, your baby’s lungs are maturing all the time. To help keep the small air sacs in the lungs, known as alveoli, open, they produce a substance known as surfactant. Your baby is starting to develop a primitive memory as the brain becomes more complex, and brain waves now are similar to those of a newborn’s. You may notice your baby’s hiccups now, and your baby may yawn as she develops
a cycle of sleeping and waking.

When the baby is born and takes her first breath, this surfactant stops the lungs collapsing. The baby in the womb moves her chest up and down and exhales amniotic fluid…..basically practicing breathing. At 24 weeks pregnant, the baby is still developing and is very small but has now reached a stage known as potential viability. This means that it would, in theory, be able to survive if it was to be born prematurely. It would need to have the assistance of a neonatal ventilator but after the 24th week of pregnancy the birth would be registered as official.

Baby Weight and Size

At 24 weeks pregnant, your baby measures around 13-5/8 inches (34.6 cm) long from crown to heel! Her weight is now around 660 grams (1 lb 8 oz), just about the size of a soccer ball.

Infographic

24 Weeks Pregnant Infographic

24 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms and Remedies

At 24 weeks pregnant, you may notice that your nipples become much darker and prominent during pregnancy. Although there is no real way that you can prepare your breasts for breastfeeding, the 24th week of pregnancy is as good a time as any to familiarize yourself with your breasts and nipples. A little later on you can try expressing a little colostrum to rub into your nipples. At 24 weeks pregnant, if you think that you have inverted or retracted nipples, seek advice from your doctor.

If you want to travel at this stage of the pregnancy, maybe on a ‘babymoon’, you can do so as long as you have no complications. Ask your doctor about flying but most doctors allow you to fly until the 8th month.

You might like to consider hiring a doula to help, not only with the delivery but also with caring for the baby during the early days. Studies have shown that moms are less likely to need a C-section, induction or pain relief if they have a doula. Births can also take less time with less complication.

Tips and To Do’s

Visiting your doctor

Between the weeks of 16 and 23 is when you first notice your baby moving. At first, it will probably just feel like ‘butterflies’ in your stomach. The baby is still very tiny and is floating in amniotic fluid. Naturally, as the baby gets bigger, these movements get much stronger and more noticeable. Like everyone, the baby will have quiet times and active times and will develop her own pattern. This is the sign of a healthy baby growing inside you so if you notice any significant reduction in these movements, report it to your doctor.

Blood glucose test

Between the 24th week of pregnancy and the 28th, your doctor will give you a blood glucose test to check for diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition but it must be treated so that your blood sugar levels are under control.

Avoid bad posture

As your belly gets bigger, you may feel off-balance. Be aware of compensating for this with bad posture that puts an additional strain on your back.

Breast-feeding

As for actual breastfeeding, the World Health Organization recommend it for the first 12 months. It is generally agreed that breastfeeding is best for the baby even if not for the full 12 months. The milk produced by the mother is perfect, nutritionally, for the baby as well as being at exactly the right temperature. It contains everything in all the correct proportions that the baby needs for the first 6 months of her life. It can then be combined with solids for the first 2 years.

Breast milk can reduce the risk of all sorts of allergies developing as well as reducing the risk of developing diabetes, asthma, and eczema. It may also reduce the risk of cot death.

It also uses up a lot of calories, helping moms to lose weight and regain their figure after the birth. Finally, breastfeeding releases hormones that help the uterus to shrink back to its pre-birth size more quickly.

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