24 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

24 Weeks Pregnant - Everything You Need To Know

You’re 24 weeks pregnant!

And 24 weeks is how many months? It’s still the sixth month of pregnancy but time’s flying by. 

If you’re at risk for preterm birth, you might start to feel more relieved as time goes on.

24 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

If babies are 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, however, is extremely good at helping premature babies develop and thrive.

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24 Weeks Pregnant Gestational Diabetes Test

This week, you might be offered a glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes (GD)

A glucose tolerance test (GTT) involves drinking a very sweet drink and then having your blood tested one hour later.

The blood test will check to see whether or not your body produces enough insulin to cope with the sugar.

If not, you might need to have further tests.

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.

Why?

Because women who are diagnosed with GD are more at risk of interventions during labour.

As a Cochrane review showed, although treatment improves health outcomes, screening doesn’t change outcomes.

Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes?

It’s important to research everything before you make a decision.

As you will see, there is more involved than might first appear.

If you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your care provider is likely to restrict your birth options.

For example, you could be denied access to a low-risk birth setting (e.g. birth centre), labouring in a bath or labouring without constant monitoring.

Your care provider might 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.

For more information, read Henci Goer’s research on gestational diabetes, which is well referenced.

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:

  • Exercised
  • Ate a healthy balanced diet
  • Were not overweight
  • Did not smoke.

If you are already pregnant, you can still reduce your risk by adopting these lifestyle changes.

Sugars and processed foods can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and inflammation in the body.

  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as you can.
  • Try to avoid processed foods and grains, e.g. cereals, breads and pasta, which are high in carbs.

Exercise during pregnancy is really important, but it doesn’t need to be excessive.

  • Try to get out for a walk every day. Strolling about for a 30-minute walk each day is ideal.
  • If you feel super unfit, set yourself small goals and build up.
  • Even if you walk for just 10 minutes per day you will feel the benefit.

24 Weeks Pregnant Belly

At 24 weeks of pregnancy, you might begin to feel some aching 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.

24 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms

You might have experienced some constipation.

Progesterone is the culprit; it slows down the transit of food through your digestive tract.

Try to drink 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.

When you’re 24 weeks pregnant, you might 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 puts pressure on the carpal nerve pathway.

This can be quite annoying but don’t worry; it will disappear when baby is born.

24 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby

By week 24, baby’s eyelashes, eyebrows and hair are fully formed but they don’t have any pigment yet.

Regardless of whether babies end up being blonde or a brunette, their 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; it feels like regular bumps in your belly.

Most babies spend around 95% of their time sleeping in utero.

You might start to notice your baby now has definite sleep-wake patterns.

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 your baby is born in will have an impact on the type and amount of clothing she will need.

Your baby will probably 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?

This week, your baby probably weighs between 380 and 590 grams.

Your baby at 24 weeks is about 29-32 cm long – roughly the size of an ear of corn.

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Last Updated: February 15, 2019

CONTRIBUTOR

Sam McCulloch enjoyed talking so much about birth she decided to become a birth educator and doula, supporting parents in making informed choices about their birth experience. In her spare time she writes novels. She is mother to three beautiful little humans.


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