24th Week Pregnancy: Symptoms, Baby Development And Bodily Changes

24th week pregnancy

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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.

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How Big Is Your Baby At 24 Weeks?

At 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).

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Baby Development At 24 weeks

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 waxing coating called vernix.
LungsAre developing. Baby starts breathing movements. Lung cells beging forming 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 (8).
Fingers and toes (9)Developed and have unique finger and toe prints.
Ear (10)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. The baby also attains a regular sleep pattern this week.

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[ Read: 25th Week Pregnancy ]

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

The symptoms you may experience this week include:

  • Weight gain: The weight gain should be as per your BMI (11):
BMIBelow 18.518.5 – 24.925 – 29.930 and Above
Weight gain (Pounds)13-2111-187-145-11
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions are irregular and less painful contractions that you experience this week.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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[ Read: 26th Week Pregnant ]

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. You can see pimple-like spots, called Montgomery’s Tubercles, around the areola. These spots secrete lubricants that keep the nipples nourished and supple.
  • Stretch marks and itchy skin
  • Darker linea nigra due to pregnancy hormones.
  • 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.

Emotional changes:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

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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

Some symptoms could indicate preterm labor, which is a possibility in the 24th week.

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Preterm Labor In The 24th Week Of Pregnancy

Preterm labor is one of the risks a pregnant woman might face during the 24th week of pregnancy. Babies born between the 24th and 28th week weigh less than 2.2 lbs (1 kg) and are considered as extremely premature (13). A baby born this week can have around 39% chances of survival, with the survival rate going up to 70% if the delivery happens in a hospital that is well equipped and has an excellent NICU facility (14).

Also, premature babies born this week might develop long-term disabilities like cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, mental retardation, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), blindness, deafness, and chronic lung disease (15).

The signs of preterm labor include:

  • Five or more contractions in an hour or every 10 minutes (16).
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Vaginal fluid leak
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • A dull and low backache
  • Menstrual-like cramps
  • Sudden or unusual increase in vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea

The chances of preterm labor are high for some women.

[ Read: 27th Week Pregnancy ]

Risk factors for preterm labor include:

  • Previous preterm labor (17)
  • Pregnancy resulting from in vitro fertilization
  • Bleeding from the vagina
  • Abnormalities of reproductive organs like short cervix
  • Vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis
  • Pregnancy with multiple babies
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Certain developmental defects in the fetus
  • Placenta previa
  • Being underweight or obese before pregnancy
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar) and gestational diabetes (which occurs only during pregnancy)
  • Rupture of the uterus if you have had a prior c-section or have had a uterine fibroid removed.
  • A short time gap between pregnancies (less than six months)
  • Age of the mother (less than 18 years and more than 35 years)
  • Blood clotting
  • Women of African ethnicity
  • Environmental factors such as exposure to specific ecological pollutants
  • Stress
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • Smoking, drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs
  • Long working hours with long periods of standing
  • Lack of social support

If there are no signs of a preterm labor, schedule a regular doctor checkup.

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Your OB/GYN Visit

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

Physical tests:

  • Weight check
  • Blood pressure
  • Fundal height measurement

Other tests:

Glucose tolerance test is done to determine the maternal blood the sugar. It involves one step or two step approach (18).

  • 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.

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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.

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[ Read: 28th Week Pregnant ]

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.

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At this time, you are 16 weeks away from your due date. You could have a tough time now with all the bodily and emotional discomforts. Do not worry! The uneasiness is temporary, and you will forget the pain once the baby arrives. Until then, take good care.

Do you have any experience to share? Let us know in the comment section below.

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shreeja pillai

Postgraduate in Chemistry and content writer. She has worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company and also holds a diploma in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. She is a writer for MomJunction and aims at providing informative articles based on health and wellness. Apart from writing, she takes a great interest in music and traveling. know more about her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreeja-pillai/
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