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The 24th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and mom

The 24th obstetric week of pregnancy is a magical time when the expectant mother realizes of the joy of her present condition. At this exact moment the development of the baby is happening daily, and the belly of the pregnant woman is gradually growing.

According to the obstetric calendar, this period is the end of the 6th month of pregnancy. In another couple of weeks the mom will enter the third trimester, which is the most eventful of all. From that moment, many moms begin to acquire baby clothes, bottles and all sorts of things that will be needed after the baby’s birth.

The size and development of the fetus in the 24th week of pregnancy

Pregnancy week 24 sizeThe future tot grows every day, developing and perfecting himself. In the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy, the fetus is significantly gaining weight (80 to 100 grams per week). The baby grows up to 30 cm and its weight is now about 600 grams. If the expectant mother has twins, the number should be accordingly increased by 1.5, and sometimes 2 times.

The baby accumulates dark adipose tissue under the skin. The fat deposits accumulating specifically around the baby’s belly and shoulder blades are needed on the first day of the birth, to provide energy and maintain body temperature. The way the baby eats in the first days of his life depends entirely on these fat deposits, because in most cases, there is not enough colostrum and baby’s weight can drop significantly.

This week, the brain continues to develop. The formation of the sulci and gyri is ending. The lungs have formed their “branches,” which are joined together in the respiratory “tree.” In addition, a specific substance is now produced in the lungs – surfactant- which helps the alveoli to open after the baby’s first breath.

In the 24th week of pregnancy, the amount of amniotic fluid is 400 ml (at the end of pregnancy – about 1 liter). The baby is already fully formed, but it is too early to exist outside the mother.

The development of the fetus at 24 weeks' gestationIn this week of his development the baby learns to respond to the mother’s mood. If he hears a sharp sound in the 24th week, he wiggles more frequently or, conversely, completely stops, because he may be scared. If the mother is under stress, this can be passed on to the baby through the development of corresponding hormones. That is why doctors advise pregnant women to avoid negative emotions, so that later on, the baby has no health problems.

During this period, the baby gets stronger and shows it by kicking inside the mother. Hiccups may appear in the baby. At this point, the proverbial Morpheus comes over the baby for approximately 16-20 hours, but the rest of the time the little tummy-dweller explores his surroundings with curiosity.

[attention type=yellow]If the mother is expecting twins, then at the 24 weeks of pregnancy the babies squirm around, bumping into each other. The interval between 24-25 weeks of pregnancy is an important period of time for the fetus to change its position in the uterus, especially if there are twins, as later on, the height and weight of the babies prevent them from turning over.[/attention]

What happens to the mom in the 24th week of pregnancy

Photo of mothers` tummies at 24 weeks of pregnancy

In this period, the bottom of the uterus is located 4-5 cm above the navel. Breasts have grown and can already secrete some colostrum. The weight added this week amounts to about 500 grams. The volume of the stomach increases due to the growing and stretching uterus. Mom may feel some pain, which should not be too long-lived and pronounced. Above you can see photos of tummies at 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Due to the fact that the weight gain is quite rapid, there may be swelling (due to the compression of large veins and lymph outflow hindered by the growing uterus). In most cases, this manifests in swelling of the feet, which is intensified in the evenings. The expectant mother should definitely stick to bed rest and relax or elevate legs to improve the outflow of venous blood.

It is suggested to wear comfortable shoes. To prevent the development of varicose veins it’s recommended to use a compression garment (tights or stockings), but only after examination by a gynecologist or phlebologist.

The skin of the abdomen may itch – this is normal due to the stretching of the epidermis. You may see some peeling. To minimize the reaction of the body and prevent stretch marks, the pregnant woman should constantly moisturize the skin (with cream, lotion, special oils, ordinary virgin olive oil).

[attention type=yellow]The growing tummy is now visible to others, and the future mom is proud of her condition. She is no longer alone, and she does not get bored alone with the unborn baby. Mom can talk to him, sing him songs, tell stories, watch cartoons together. Right now it is time to learn new nursery rhymes and lullabies for the future baby. [/attention]

Hair is now shiny and lush, nails are quite strong. Some skin pigmentation may occur. Sunbathing must be undertaken with caution. During pregnancy, you can not use just any cosmetic products, and is better to use homeopathic products – chamomile teas, homemade mask with vegetables, cheese, fruit and berries. After any skin treatment apply children’s cream to the skin.

Due to the fact that the ligaments of the pelvic joints are a bit relaxed, the future mom may be walking with a little waddle. Each step should be slow and cautious, because a pregnant woman should avoid falling.

The mom may develop heartburn and nausea, because the uterus compresses the organs that are located nearby. It is necessary to consume food in small portions, but often.

 At 24th week of pregnancy training bout may appear Little by little, Braxton Hicks contractions will appear. They differ from labor contractions in regularity and painlessness. The bottom of the belly pulls, the uterus tenses. If mom lies down and relaxes, these sensations will pass quickly.

Mom’s eyes are more sensitive to light, but that’s not a problem. Because pregnant women often feel back pain, wear a brace to ease the situation. It is necessary to pay special attention to your back, because it bears a greater load.

It is necessary to control your weight, to prevent preeclampsia during pregnancy. When the disease is in progress the baby experiences more discomfort than the mother – he lacks oxygen. Self-treatment is prohibited!

[attention type=red]If the expectant mother begins to feel pain or pulling of the stomach at the six month mark, and there is red vaginal discharge, immediately call an ambulance – it is likely intrauterine fetal death or early preterm birth.[/attention]

Expectant mothers should try to control their emotions. At 24 weeks of pregnancy positive feelings and sensations are important, because the baby experiences the same things as his mother. In a stressful situation, the baby gets a rush of adrenaline but does not know what to do with such emotions and becomes frightened. This can be counterproductive to the formation of the little one’s nervous system.

In all other respects, life goes on as before. The expectant mother goes to work, and selects things for her little one. She may already be attending some courses for pregnant women. Her greatest pleasure is communicating with her baby. Now is the time when a woman is experiences boundless joy over the baby’s impending arrival.

Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in the 24th week of pregnancy

Photo fetal ultrasound at 24 weeks of pregnancy

If there are no other indications, urine and blood samples will be taken this week, which can determine the development of diseases. Analysis of urine will show the level of erythrocytes and leukocytes in the body, the possible presence of the protein and other factors. Determination of a blood sugar level necessary, because there is a possibility of developing gestational diabetes. Diagnosing this disease is very difficult, so the woman should monitor her blood sugar levels throughout the pregnancy.

This term of pregnancy is the last one for second trimester screenings. The ultrasound will determine the estimated weight and growth of the baby, the rhythm of his heart, and if there is any abnormal development. A specialist can assess the volume of amniotic fluid. She will also make sure that the placenta does not overlap the uterine cervix, and there is no increased uterine tone. More about this here.

Now you can clearly see the baby, because the size of the fetus permits a full view. At the request of the mother it is possible to take a 3D-ultrasound, which is the first photo of the future baby. We invite you to watch a video of a fetal ultrasound at the 24th week of pregnancy, as well as view the photo of the baby above.

Possible abnormalities

The growth and weight of the child may slightly differ from the normal measurements for this term, because each specific case is affected by many factors, which do not necessarily cause any abnormalities:

  • gender of the child (girls are smaller than boys);
  • heredity and genetic predispositions;
  • nutrition of the expectant mother;
  • what physical activity a pregnant woman undertook;
  • how many children exist in the womb.

If the fetus is constantly lagging behind in weight and height, it indicates that nutrition is insufficient or there is a lack of oxygen supply to the baby. Smoking, alcohol consumption, fasting, dieting or the concept of “eating for two” can cause abnormalities in the development of the unborn child.

The nutrition of the mom at 24 weeks of pregnancy

Mother`s nutrition at 24 weeks of pregnancyDiet should be full of healthy and nutritious meals. Eat only fresh, natural products, mainly boiled, baked and stewed. It is advisable not to eat sugar, baked goods made with white flour and confectionery products. Use the minimum amount of salt because it prevents fluid release from the body. The result is edema.

The presence of sufficient iron in the body is very important. Iron-rich products prevent the development of anemia: beef, buckwheat, cod liver oil, persimmons and pomegranates. It is better to use with alongside products that facilitate iron absorption: seaweed, cherries, sweet peppers.

[attention type=yellow]Expectant mothers may experience constipation because of sedentary lifestyles and water retention. It is possible that a poor diet can contribute to constipation. To battle this phenomenon it is necessary to actively consume fruits and vegetables because they are high in fiber, and cause the intestines to work more actively. [/attention]

Sexual activity in the 24th week

Sexual relations in the 24 week of pregnancyIf the doctor does not find any reasons for concern, sex at 24 weeks will be very beneficial. Damage to the unborn baby is almost impossible, but for the woman sex will be doubly pleasurable, because during pregnancy desire is reinforced by a strong inflow of blood to the genitals.

However, there are certain limitations. All positions in which the pressure is on the abdomen, are to be avoided. The most suitable position is woman-on-top.

How to select prenatal classes, and what they typically teach

Usually, a class for future parents includes psychological training, breathing exercises, fitness, lectures on nutrition, newborn care, training in the pool, documentary footage of delivery. To the expectant parents it will also explain how labor starts and what awaits the mom during and after childbirth, how to interact with the medical staff in the hospital, how to prepare breasts for lactation, and practice relaxation techniques that can be used during labor.

To choose the right class, it is necessary to focus on three important points:

  • the principles held by employees of the school, should mirror your own;
  • it is important for the future mom, to be able to conveniently get to the class;
  • the cost of the main class and any additional training.

Recommendations for future moms

  • The expectant mother should watch closely for signs of thirst, frequent urination and itching because this directly indicates that the level of sugar in the blood has increased, or that the baby is overfed. It is not appropriate for a normal birth.
  • Pregnant women throughout pregnancy should be relaxed, walk in clean areas, listen to pleasant and soothing music and rest as much as possible.
  • It is advisable not to stop doing exercises for the second trimester, as they will help with birth and generally to maintain health.
  • If you experience any problems immediately consult your doctor.

Video about the 24th week of pregnancy

To better understand what is happening inside the expectant mother, we invite to watch the video guide for the 24th week. It shows what the baby looks like at this time, what he can feel, how should choose labor classes, and what you can learn there, exercises for expectant mothers and joint exercises with the future fathers.

Time will fly by, and the long-awaited baby will soon sleep quietly in mom’s arms. All the difficulties, challenges, fears and pain will be forgotten. There will be only the overwhelming joy that the most beloved person on the planet is finally near you.

[attention type=yellow]Moms, how are you holding up in the 24th week of pregnancy? What sensations have you had? Is the baby kicking strongly? Share your experiences and joy with us.[/attention]

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