24 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know
You’re 24 weeks pregnant!
This week, you may be offered a glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes (GD)
A glucose tolerance test (GTT) involves drinking a very sweet drink, before having your blood tested, one hour later.
The blood test will measure if your body produces enough insulin to cope with the sugar.
If not, you may need to do further testing.
The glucose tolerance test is not without controversy.
Many doctors believe all pregnant women should be screened for GD and treated.
Others feel screening is unnecessary, and can do more harm than good.
Because women are more at risk of interventions during labour.
A Cochrane review showed while treatment improves health outcomes, screening doesn’t change outcomes.
Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes?
It’s important to research everything before making a decision.
As you will see, there are more to things than may first appear.
If you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your care provider is likely to restrict your birth options.
For example, you may be denied access to a low-risk birth setting (e.g. birth centre, labouring in a bath or without constant monitoring).
Your care provider may suggest an induction of labour, if you haven’t gone into labour by a certain time.
An induction increases the risk of other interventions, including c-section.
Read Henci Goer’s research on gestational diabetes here, which is well referenced with research.
The best way to avoid a diagnosis of gestational diabetes is to have a healthy lifestyle and good quality sleep.
Recent research uncovered cases of gestational diabetes could be reduced by 83% if, before women fell pregnant, they:
- Ate a healthy balanced diet
- Were not overweight
- Did not smoke.
For those already pregnant, you can still reduce your risk by adopting these lifestyle changes.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks as best you can.
Processed foods and grains, e.g. cereals, breads and pasta, are high in carbs and best avoided too.
Sugars and processed foods can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and inflammation in the body.
Also, try and get out for a walk each day.
Exercise during pregnancy is so important, yet it doesn’t need to be significant.
Strolling about for a 30-minute walk each day is ideal.
But if you feel super unfit, set yourself small goals and build up.
Even if you walk for just 10 minutes per day.
24 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
At 24 weeks of pregnancy, you may begin to feel some achiness in your lower abdomen.
As your uterus stretches and baby gets bigger, the ligaments in the lower part of your uterus must stretch too.
This stretching can be uncomfortable.
Once it starts, it can continue until baby is born.
To get relief from round ligament pain you can:
- Try gentle stretching.
- Use heat packs on the area
- Hop into a warm bath with some Epsom salts
- Use pelvic exercise to strength the area and your core muscles. Pregnancy yoga is excellent for this.
- Exercise regularly.
- Watch your posture, to keep your pelvis aligned.
- Use a maternity support belt as your belly grows.
- Have regular massage or body therapy.
- Slow your movements down, particularly when you are doing things like getting out bed or up from a chair.
You may have also noticed you’re experiencing constipation.
Progesterone is the culprit again, as it slows down the transit of food through your digestive tract.
Drink at least 8 – 12 glasses of water each day. You can also add freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices.
Exercise is also useful as it promotes circulation and can relieve constipation.
It’s important not to ignore constipation, as it can lead to haemorrhoids and anal fissures.
Find out more about safe constipation remedies here.
When you’re 24 weeks pregnant, you may also be experiencing some symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The usual symptoms are pins and needles and numbing in the wrists and fingers.
It often occurs because water retention is putting pressure on the carpal nerve pathway.
This can be quite annoying but don’t worry, it’ll disappear when baby is born.
24 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
By week 23 your baby’s eyelashes, eyebrows and hair are fully formed but they don’t have any pigment yet.
Regardless of whether your baby winds up being a blonde or a brunette, his or her hair is white right now.
Baby’s bones are also growing and getting harder and stronger.
Your baby is also building up fat, which is why you seem to be gaining weight more quickly.
You might be able to feel your baby hiccupping soon, which feels like regular bumps in your belly.
Most babies spend around 95% of their time sleeping in utero.
You may start to notice definite sleep-wake patterns with your baby.
Thinking about what clothing your baby will need once she is born?
Talk to your friends about the clothes they preferred for a newborn.
Many mothers love the flexibility of onsies (Wondersuits).
The season will your baby be born will have an impact on the type and amount of clothing she will need.
Your baby will likely need two outfits per day for a while.
It’s a good idea to have some clothes already washed in fragrance-free laundry detergent before you bring her home.
Not sure how much baby clothing you need?
Check out BellyBelly’s article Baby Clothes – What Clothes Do You Need For Your Baby?.
If your baby was born now, they would be considered extremely premature. However, the survival rate increases dramatically from 24 weeks.
It can be very frightening to think of having a premature baby. Modern medicine is extremely good at helping premature babies develop and thrive.
This week, your baby probably weighs between 380 to 590 grams.
Your baby at 24 weeks is about 29-32 cm long, roughly the size of an ear of corn.