24 Weeks Pregnant: The 24th Week Of Pregnancy
The development of your baby is happening rapidly now, and you will meet your baby in only 16 short weeks!
What changes are occurring with your body?
You can now feel the top of your uterus around 2 inches (5 cm) from your belly button. The skin on your abdomen and breasts is stretching, which can cause these areas to feel itchy. Many times the itchy skin can be caused by dry skin.
If you are having itchy and/or dry skin, use a moisturizer or lotion. Your eyes may also feel more sensitive and dry during your pregnancy. You can alleviate some of this discomfort by using artificial tears to keep your eyes moist.
How big is your baby?
Your baby is over 12 ½ inches (32 cm) long and weighs 1¼ to 1½ pounds (0.6 to 0.7 kg).
What is happening with your baby?
Your baby’s brain is growing rapidly at this time. Taste buds are also forming, and the lungs are becoming more developed and complex. The branches of the main lung are beginning to form as well as special cells that will produce surfactant. Surfactant is necessary for the air sacs to inflate easily.
Babies who are born prematurely often have trouble breathing because these cells have not had enough time to develop or are not producing the necessary amounts of surfactant.
What should you plan for this week?
Between 24 and 28 weeks, most healthcare providers will perform a glucose screening test. This test checks for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a temporary (in most cases) form of diabetes in which the body does not produce adequate amounts of insulin to regulate sugar levels during pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms can include:
- Sugar in urine (revealed in a test done in your doctor’s office)
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
Approximately 2-5 % of all expecting mothers will develop gestational diabetes. Doctors test for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th week because the placenta is producing large amounts of hormones that may cause insulin resistance.
If the result comes back with elevated levels, further testing would be done to confirm a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
Tips for making your pregnancy better
If you are having a problem with heartburn, you may want to try eating smaller meals throughout the day. Many women find that eating five or six small meals a day decreases the amount of heartburn they experience. Heartburn can also be decreased by skipping snacks and meals late at night.
Tips for mom’s partner
Plan a romantic getaway. It could be to a spot that has a significant meaning to the two of you or somewhere that you have always wanted to go.