24 Weeks Pregnant
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 that 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 will likely put an induction of labour on the table, 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 that 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, that means heading in one direction for just five minutes, then back again.
24 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
At 24 weeks pregnant, 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.
You may have also noticed that you are 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 will disappear when baby is born.
24 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
Your baby’s eyelashes, eyebrows and hair are present but they don’t have any pigment yet.
Regardless of whether she’ll wind up being a blonde or a brunette, her hair is white right now.
Baby’s bones are also growing and getting harder and stronger.
She’s 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, what clothes do you need for baby?
This week, your baby probably weighs between 380 to 590 grams.
Your 24 week old baby is about 29-32 cm long, roughly the size of an ear of corn.