Smile Mommy, because you have every reason to smile! Your uterus is rising high and so are your hopes of soon holding your darling in your arms. Pregnancy and motherhood are the most beautiful experiences you feel in your life and imagine how lucky it is to be a woman!
No matter whether you are having a planned pregnancy or not, you deserve to be happy and enjoy this special phase in your life. Like Patricia Heaton said, “A woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy also deserves to experience unplanned joy.”
Of course the wonderful experience can be challenging as well. With the physical, mental and emotional changes taking place in every nook and corner of your journey as a would be a mommy. Not to worry though, you are made tough enough to handle every challenge motherhood throws at you. You just need to hang on when things are not moving smoothly.
24 Weeks Pregnant:
Let us have a look at what are the new changes, your baby and body are going through at this stage.
Changes In Your Body:
The word change itself has become monotonous and boring as your pregnancy progresses. You have heard it so often, that you would not mind it not being mentioned anytime for you in your near future.
Adding to your woes, you cannot predict many of the changes that place in your body. All the psychological, physical and emotional changes differ from one woman to the next. So, do not worry at length about the negative changes your body may go through – like the stretch marks, itchiness of your belly, piles etc. because you could be the lucky one to escape them.
Though the round bump is a beautiful change which you love, some of the changes may not be so welcome. Pregnancy sure is a roller coaster ride with its ups and downs so brace yourself to face these challenges: Here are some of the main changes you will be seeing in your body during 24th week of pregnancy:
1. Pregnancy And Your Vision:
Not many women are aware about the changes that occur in their eyes and vision during pregnancy. It is not something which is discussed about like the morning sickness, because not many pregnant women notice the change.
- During pregnancy, your eyesight is affected due to the physical and hormonal changes taking place in your body.
- Water retention is a common feature of pregnancy, which affects the thickness and curvature of the cornea in your eyes.
- It is nothing that you need to be bothered about, unless you find that your power glasses are not helping you much.
- Dry eye is another problem you may face during your pregnancy. The dryness in your eyes may be accompanied with other 24 weeks pregnancy symptoms like irritation, excessive watering and grittiness.
- Often the change is negligible and will correct itself once your baby is born.
- Never opt for new contact or LASIK during your pregnancy.
- If the change in your vision is bothering you, bring it to the notice of your healthcare provider. It could well be an indication of pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes as well.
2. Piles And Hemorrhoids:
Piles and hemorrhoids during pregnancy are one of the unwelcome changes which affect tone in ten women in the course of their pregnancy.
- If you have experienced piles/hemorrhoids earlier you will experience a flare up during or after pregnancy, whereas if you haven’t experienced them before, you may have them for the first time.
- They can occur when you are pushing your baby during your labor.
- They can also occur when you may become constipated during breastfeeding due to loss of fluids.
- Lack of enough fiber and fluids in your diet may lead to constipation which can increase the risk of you getting piles/hemorrhoids.
- The pressure on the veins below your uterus by the growing baby is one of the main causes of piles/hemorrhoids.
- The good thing here is that the problem of pregnancy piles/hemorrhoids often disappears on their own after childbirth.
- Though in some cases, the problem persists for nearly a year it does not happen often.
- The risk is only 1:40 that you may face some major problem due to pregnancy related piles/hemorrhoids.
- If the piles/hemorrhoids are severe, you may see blood after you pass stools. Medical intervention may be required for pain and bleeding piles/hemorrhoids.
[ Read: Piles During Pregnancy ]
The best way to tackle the condition is to fight it before it makes its appearance.
- Keeping free from constipation and staying well hydrated is the best way to counter the condition to a great extent, though it cannot be promised that it will completely prevent it.
- Exercise helps in prevention of constipation, in addition to keeping you fit and active.
- Do not hold back when you feel the urge to poop.
- Unfortunately, if you have ended up with a bunch of swollen vessels, then you can find relief by soaking the infected and painful area intolerably hot water every 4-7 hours.
- Avoid sitting for prolonged period of time, especially on hard surfaces.
- If there is swelling, apply ice packs several times a day to bring down the swelling.
- You can use hemorrhoids/piles relief cream under the guidance of your doctor.
- Finally, maintain hygiene and keep the infected area clean. It is better to use mild soap and wash the area after pooping for a few days.
- Remember, you should never ignore bleeding from your anal area, even if you are sure that it is the piles causing it. Be sure to go ahead with proper investigation by a healthcare provider to rule out any other causes.
3. Psychological And Emotional Challenges:
You may go through stress and start worrying sometime during your second/third trimester. The worries and stress could be related to the thoughts like:
- Whether you will be able to lose the weight gained during pregnancy after childbirth.
- Will the changes in your body make you less attractive.
- How bad is the labor pain going to be.
- Will you be able to have a normal vaginal delivery.
- Will there be a need for a cesarean.
- Will you be able to handle the challenges of parenting without making mistakes.
- Will the baby affect your relationship.
- Can you and your partner face the financial demands of bringing up our baby comfortably.
- Stress is not healthy, but this doesn’t mean that a healthy pregnancy is a pregnancy without any stress. In fact, you should be worried if these normal thoughts do not cross your mind anytime during your pregnancy at all.
- Recent research has revealed that the stress and stress hormones secreted during pregnancy and childbirth helps in the development of your baby to some extent. It also primes your brain for motherhood.
- Talk to your partner or someone you are close to about the worries that are keeping you awake.
- Try meditation and yoga for stress relief.
[ Read: Stress During Pregnancy ]
4. Changes In Your Body At A Glance:
Your body will be going through the following changes when 24 weeks pregnant:
- Your uterus has extended now nearly 2 inches above your belly button.
- You may have to deal with itchiness in the skin covering your breasts and abdomen due to stretching.
- Frequent urination continues.
- Edema can be seen if there is water retention in your body.
- Changes in your vision in some cases.
- Constipation, especially if you are not taking enough amount of water and your diet lacks fiber content.
- Appearance of faint stretch marks on belly, breasts and hips.
- Weight gain of nearly 20-35 pounds.
Changes In Your Baby:
Just 16 weeks to go before you can see the changes in your baby yourself. For now, you have to be content with what you can see of her through images of ultrasound scanning and what you read.
- There is a spurt in the growth of your baby’s brain.
- The lungs mature as the branches of the main lung begin to form.
- She practices breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into her lungs.
- Your baby’s skin is losing transparency and becoming more opaque.
- Small blood capillaries are beginning to form.
- You notice increased activity in your womb. The punches and kicks are not like the fluttering of butterfly anymore.
- Fat begins to deposit under the skin, so that your baby will be able to retain heat and manage the temperature outside your womb after birth.
- She is gaining nearly 3 ounces or 90 grams of weight every week.
- Her eyelids have become quite prominent and all the facial features have developed.
- Muscles, bone mass and other organs continue to grow and mature.
- You can see fine creases on the palms of your baby.
Size Of Your Baby In Week 24 Pregnancy:
Your baby is about the size of a large grapefruit or Cantaloupe at this stage. Your baby weighs approximately 1.32 pounds (600 gram) and measures 11.81 inches (30 cm) from crown to heel.
Care And Tips:
a. If you are a career woman, plan your maternity leave and also discuss paternity leave with your partner.
- Remember that many companies demand that you apply for your maternity leave at least 30 days in advance.
- According to the laws and rules of the company, you may have to produce medical certificates for the leave to be approved. Hence, be ready for the requirements.
- Many companies have emergency plans and paid maternity leave for their employees.
- Find the policies of your company in case you may need them. The human resources representative is the right person to provide you with details.
b. If you are suffering from heartburn or acidity, try the following tips to ease your problem:
- Eat smaller portions of meals 6-7 times a day instead of 3 large meals.
- Eat your food slowly, chewing them thoroughly.
- Do not hit bed immediately after a meal.
- Fluids are good and healthy for you, but not during your meals. Taking plenty of fluids while eating will increase your risk of heartburn and acid reflux.
- Keep your upper body elevated when you sleep.
- Avoid clothes that fit tightly around your tummy.
- Ask for a prescription from your healthcare provider for instant relief in case of emergency when the problem becomes intolerable.
- Keep away from spicy, fried and oily food.
[ Read: Pregnancy Clothes ]
Fun Activity For The 24th Week Pregnancy:
Do you remember how you met your partner? Isn’t it amazing how that particular moment led to the creation of this wonderful being growing in your womb! Plan to visit the special place with your partner to re-kindle your romance.
Tips For Dad To Be:
Worry and stress do not escape you, even though you are not carrying a baby inside.
- The trick is not to overdo the worrying part. Keep it restricted to how you are going to deal with colic pains of your baby rather than worrying about the college.
- Bring out some cards and board games to enjoy with your partner. It will help in releasing stress for both of you.
- Hire some CDs of funny movie and laugh out loud with your partner.
- Let not every chat be about your baby. Talk and be concerned about your partner as well.
Pregnancy is a difficult time, but it is also one of the most amazing ones! Enjoy it, experience it and cherish it.
If you have something to share, you are welcome to add your experience to this article through your comments.
- Books :
1. What to Expect When you’re Expecting by Heidi E. Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
2. Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Lesley Regan
3. Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Dr Glade B Curtis and Judith Schuler
4. Pregnancy: The Ultimate Month-by-Month Pregnancy Guide: All the Tips and Tricks You Need to Know!
5. Day-by-day Pregnancy Book by Maggie
6. A Beginners Guide to Pregnancy
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