24th Week Pregnancy: Symptoms, Baby Development And Tips

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How Many Months Pregnant Are You In The 24th week?

At 24 weeks, you are in the 7th month and second trimester of pregnancy. Your baby becomes viable during this week.

How Big Is Your Baby At 24 Weeks?

This week, your baby is as big as the ear of corn (1). The baby measures 11.8in (30cm) in length and weighs around 1.32lb (600g) (2).

Baby Development At 24 weeks

The baby starts gaining weight during this week, and the development continues at a faster pace.

Baby’s organsDevelopment
Skin (3)Appears red and wrinkled. Fat deposition starts beneath the skin (4).
HeadProportionally larger than the body.
Eyes (5)Eyelids are separated into upper and lower lids. Eyelashes and eyebrows are visible. Eyes can open and close.
LanugoSkin is covered with fine hair and a waxy coating called vernix.
LungsAre developing. Baby starts breathing movements. Lung cells begin to form surfactants at this week (6)
BrainIs developing and uses more than 50% of the fetus’ energy. There is around 400 to 500 percent increase in the brain weight.
HeartMore than 30 million heartbeats have occurred by this week (7).
Fingers and toes (8)Developed and have unique finger and toe prints.
Ear (9)Ear bones harden and make sound conduction possible.
Bone marrows (4)Starts producing red blood cells.
TongueTaste buds are formed.
HairBegins to grow on the baby’s head.
GenderIn boys, testicles begin to grow into the scrotum, through the abdomen. In girls, the uterus is formed with ovaries containing eggs.
ReflexesBaby develops the startle reflex.

Fetal position and movements: At 24 weeks of pregnancy, the baby is making random moves as there is enough space inside the uterus. Thus, the baby may achieve any position this week. You can feel the wriggling and rolling movements (10). The baby also attains a regular sleep pattern this week.

What Symptoms Of Pregnancy Do You Experience In The 24th Week?

The symptoms you may experience this week include:

  • Weight gain: An average weight gain of one to two pounds per week during the second trimester of pregnancy is considered safe, as recommended by the American Pregnancy Association (APA) (11). However, in case of women with BMI less than 18.5 and greater than 24.9, the recommended weight gain rates usually ranges between 0.5 and one pound.
BMIBelow 18.518.5 – 24.925 – 29.930 and Above
Weight gain (Pounds)13-2111-187-145-11
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions (12) are irregular and less painful contractions that you experience this week. It may be felt by some may not by others
  • The pressure exerted by the baby on the lower back that also strains the muscles causing a backache.
  • The digestion process slows down as the digestive tract relaxes due to the progesterone hormone, leading to constipation.
  • The water retention in the body causes swelling up of the feet and ankle. In case of sudden swelling, go to the doctor as it could be a sign of preeclampsia.
  • It is common to experience leg cramps this week, especially at night. Cramps could also be due to calcium deficiency or dehydration during pregnancy.
  • To neutralize the acidity inside the mouth, excess saliva is secreted from the mouth.
  • Risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome due to an increase in the blood volume that puts extra pressure on the nerves, resulting in tingling feeling in the wrist and hands (13)
  • Pregnancy hormones can alter the tear production causing itchy eyes.
  • An increased buildup of fluid in the eyes can cause blurred vision.
  • As the uterus is growing, the muscles and ligaments in the pelvic area stretch, causing lower abdominal ache.
  • An increased vaginal discharge prevents uterine infections by restricting any bacteria from entering the vagina.
  • The hormonal fluctuations can lead to ‘pregnancy brain’ or forgetfulness during this period (14).
  • As the mucus membranes open up due to the hormonal fluctuations, there is more mucus flow through the nasal membranes that causes nasal congestion.
  • The extra pressure put by the uterus on the bladders increases the frequency of urination.

Changes In The Body At 24th Week

You experience several physical and emotional changes this week.

Physical changes

  • A protruding belly
  • Enlarged breasts with darker areola and nipples (15) You can see pimple-like spots, called Montgomery’s Tubercles, around the areola. These spots secrete lubricants that keep the nipples nourished and supple. Sometimes, there might be hair growth around the nipple or tissue growth. 
  • Stretch marks and itchy skin
  • Darker linea nigra due to pregnancy hormones (16)
  • White milky discharge from breast called colostrum.
  • Blue or green veins visible on breasts, due to increased blood flow.
  • Shinier, fuller, and thicker hair due to hormonal fluctuations.
  • Darkening of skin, acne, and black patches around the neck due to hormonal changes.

Emotional changes

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Forgetfulness

When To Call The Doctor

Call your doctor right away, if you notice the following symptoms (12):

  • Belly or pelvic pain
  • Headache or fever
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches not subsiding after taking acetaminophen (Tylenol*)
  • Uncontrolled nosebleeds
  • Burning sensation or pain while you urinate
  • Persistent leg cramps

Your OB/GYN Visit

Here is what you can expect during your OB/GYN visit:

Physical tests

Other tests

Glucose tolerance test is done to determine maternal blood sugar. It involves a one step or two step approach (10).

  • One step (OGTT): Glucose levels are tested after a period of fasting, following which you will be given 75gm of glucose to drink. Your glucose levels are measured again one hour and two hours after the dose.
  • Two-step: This begins with the glucose challenge test, where you are given 50gm of glucose to drink, and the blood sugar level is checked after 1 hour. If the test result is abnormal, then a three-hour glucose tolerance test is done. The glucose levels are measured after fasting and at 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours after the dose. An abnormal test result is an indication of gestational diabetes.

The doctor will advise changes in your diet and lifestyle, and may even prescribe medication, based on the test results. You should continue taking care of yourself at home.

Tips For Mom-to-be

Here are the tips to follow for a healthy pregnancy:

  • Keep yourself hydrated by taking plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid any stress or fears.
  • Eat home cooked food.
  • Go for a healthy diet including fish like Pollock, salmon, cod, shrimp, anchovies, and catfish. These are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Include fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, bran, and breakfast cereals to the diet. Increase your intake of fiber-rich food to relieve constipation.
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol consumption as well as an excess of caffeine intake.
  • Take vitamin, iron, calcium, and folic acid supplements.
  • Give your body enough rest.
  • Maintain oral hygiene.
  • Moderate exercises such as walking and kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic muscles.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Wear loose, breathable clothes and comfortable footwear.
  • Do not take any medicines without asking your doctor.
  • Do not clean the cat litter to avoid toxoplasmosis.
  • Avoid any exposure to toxic chemicals.

Your partner can also help make this period comfortable for you.

Tips For Dad-to-be

Here’s what your partner can do:

  • Create a pleasant ambiance at home.
  • Accompany you to the hospital during prenatal visits.
  • Help with household chores.
  • Plan an outing for a change.
  • Give a good neck and foot massage when you need it.
  • Accompany you to your workout sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are babies fully developed at 24 weeks?

Babies are not fully developed during the 24th week. The vital organs such as the lungs and brain are still developing at this stage. However, the baby might already start to appear like a newborn,

2. How often would the baby kick at 24 weeks?

The baby might kick between the 24th and 28th weeks of gestation. But, there is no set number of times a baby kicks during pregnancy. Each baby follows a different pattern. You will eventually start to understand your baby’s pattern (11).

3. How long does the baby sleep in the womb at 24 weeks?

Around this week, a fetus starts to follow a sleeping pattern. Generally, a fetus sleeps in 20 to 40-minute cycles, sometimes extending to 90 minutes (11).

The 24th week of pregnancy means you are in the seventh month of pregnancy. Most of the baby’s organs are rapidly developing at this stage in pregnancy. As a result, you may be feeling a lot of movements of the baby. However, if you experience any contractions, you should consult your doctor. Nevertheless, these contractions are not always a cause for concern as they may also be Braxton Hicks contractions. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice any abnormal symptoms such as bleeding, unusual cramping, or reduced or abnormal fetal movement.

References:

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Dr. Jayashree Jayakrishnan

(IBCLC)
Dr. Jayashree J specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant from IBLCE and a certified DONA (International Doula of North America). A believer in natural birth, she has set up waterbirth facilities in Chennai hospitals, in association with Waterbirth International founder Barbara Harper. She did her graduation in  Physiotherapy, Childbirth, and Mothercare.... more

shreeja pillai

Shreeja holds a postgraduate degree in Chemistry and diploma in Drug Regulatory Affairs. Before joining MomJunction, she worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. As a writer, she aims at providing informative articles on health and pharma, especially related to... more

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