Week Twenty Four of Pregnancy

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Your baby at week twenty four of pregnancy

At just over 29cm long, and weighing in at around half a kilo your baby is now about the size of a large mango and has reached the most active period of your pregnancy. Between now and twenty eight weeks, your baby is small enough to manage his or her somersaults and flips, with just enough room, and is big enough that you can most certainly feel these fetal movements!

At week twenty four, your little one is considered viable, in that should he or she be born prematurely in this week, they would stand a chance of survival.

The skin of your fetus is still thickening, until it loses its translucent quality, and the eyes are now completely developed with the exception of the pigmentation of the iris. Your baby’s ears are still developing so they he or she will be able to start distinguishing different sounds, as they become clearer, for example the sound of your heartbeat and the sound of your voice, or the sound of a siren or loud music. Also, now that the balance-controlling inner ear has developed, your baby can finally tell if they are upside down or the right way up, so moving around becomes more significant and meaningful.

What you may be feeling at week twenty four of pregnancy

As your belly becomes increasingly stretched out, it is likely that if you formally had an inset belly button, it will pop out this week and remain like this for the rest of your pregnancy (although will return to normal, albeit a more stretched version of normal).

You may also be experiencing an unpleasant tingling, numbing sensation in your wrists. This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome, which can be caused by work that requires repetitive motions, like typing. This particularly affects pregnant women because fluids accumulate in your lower extremities during the day, and are later redistributed to the rest of your body when you’re lying down. As the fluid travels to your hands is puts pressure on the nerve that runs through your wrist. This results in a sensation that is a mixture of numbness, tingling, pain or dull aching throughout your fingers, hands or wrists.

It is also important to keep an eye out for the signs of preterm labor. Common symptoms are abdominal cramps, change in vaginal discharge, an aching lower back, uterine contractions, pressure on your pelvis – as though the baby is putting pressure on it, or fluid leaking or gushing from your vagina. If the symptoms become continuous, seek medical attention, however, if fluid is gushing from your vagina, seek immediate medical assistance.


Common symptoms at week twenty four of pregnancy

  • A blue tinge to your legs (this is related to hormones and not blood supply, it will settle after delivery
  • A dark line from your belly button to your pelvic bone (linea negra)
  • Breast increase and darkening of the nipples which will be enlarging
  • Nosebleeds due to increased blood-flow and sensitive nasal passages
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body aches
  • Stretch marks
  • Back ache
  • Skin pigmentation
  • Anxiety about the birth and parenthood
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Intense and vivid dreams
  • Leg cramps
  • Increased vaginal discharge

Tips for week twenty four of pregnancy

  • If back ache is a problem you can do a few things to reduce this. Use the habit of bending your knees and keeping a straight back when you lift something and be sure not to pick up something too heavy. Sit up straight and use a pillow or pad to support your lower back if that feels better.
  • If your stretched skin is itching keep moisturizing it with a gentle emollient moisturizer.
  • Your doctor may schedule a test this week for gestational diabetes. This is a simple test and if you do test positive remember it is better to know and it is treatable and usually temporary so accept the test if it is offered is best advice.

If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.

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