Baby Growth at 24 Weeks Pregnant
At 24 weeks along, your baby is the size of a pomegranate – measuring about 12.5 inches and weighing in around 1.5 pounds. That’s about the length of a newborn onesie and the weight of a large jar of peanut butter.
Speaking of weight, your little one is in rapid-growth mode. Each week, the baby is gaining anywhere from 3 to 6 ounces including additional baby fat to help begin regulating body temperature.
Baby’s body has also begun developing a very important substance, called surfactant, that assists in the opening of tiny air sacs inside the lungs. The branches of the lungs have also started to form and will continue to grow in the coming weeks.
Your baby is getting cuter by the day! Facial features are fully developed, eyelids and nostrils have opened, and if you could peek inside your belly you may even be able to tell which of you the baby takes after at this stage. A little button nose is also practicing breathing amniotic fluid through those newly opened nostrils this week.
Eyelashes, hair, and eyebrows are still lacking pigment and are all white at this stage of development. Skin is also slightly translucent but will continue to develop small capillaries and turn pinker as the baby's arrival inches closer.
Possibly the most exciting part of week 24? The auditory system is growing at a rapid pace. That means it’s time to start playing your favorite lullabies that the baby will be able to recognize and even be soothed by after birth.
You and Your Body at Pregnancy 24 Weeks
Welcome to the club, outie. You’re officially 6 months along in your pregnancy which is when most women notice belly button changes. This isn’t permanent and happens as your uterus swells and adds additional pressure to the belly button.
Weight gain for expectant mothers averages about 14-16 pounds by week 24, but remember everybody is different. Consult with your doctor for specific recommendations regarding healthy weight feedback at this stage.
Now is a good time to start considering a maternity belt or belly band to keep your abdomen well supported and cut down on the back pain when possible.
You may be able to feel the baby moving from the outside now by placing a hand on your belly. Later in pregnancy, you and others will also be able to see it moving from the outside. Remember, it’s okay to tell others not to touch or caress your belly if it makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s your body and your baby’s home.
Your glucose screening will also take place sometime between week 24 and week 28 to test for gestational diabetes, a condition that appears temporarily for some women during pregnancy. Doctors aren’t positive what causes gestational diabetes in some expectant mothers and not others. You may be at risk if you are overweight, carrying multiples, or those with a family history of GD. Make sure you’ve scheduled your test through your obstetrician if you haven’t already.
If the test results show a positive result, your medical team will make suggestions to modify your lifestyle or prescribe medication, if needed, in order to prevent complications like preterm birth or a high birth weight.
As your belly continues to grow, be sure you're wearing your seatbelt properly when riding in the car. The strap should rest comfortable at your hip bones and never cross over any part of your belly.
Typical Symptoms at 24 Weeks Pregnant
The symptoms that you may be experiencing as the baby grows in the second trimester are less than ideal. Aches and pains, dry skin, and carpal tunnel are extremely common and are considered normal at this stage of pregnancy.
Other symptoms likely to be experienced in week 24:
- Tender, red gums
- Back pain
- Braxton hicks
- Nasal congestion
- Linea Nigra
- Swollen hands and feet
- Stretch marks
- Trouble sleeping
- Swollen feet and ankles
Consult with your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms which could be signs of early labor: an increase in vaginal discharge or a change in discharge (including bleeding or spotting), abdominal or menstrual-like cramping, more than 4 contractions in an hour, increased pressure in the pelvic area, or lower back pain if you’ve never experienced it up until this point.
Pregnancy Week 24 Tips and Advice
First let’s tackle that pesky dry skin issue. Taking less baths and keeping your showers short, not-too-hot, and using mild soaps can help keep the moisture where it belongs – in your skin. You may also consider applying massage oil after you bathe and before you towel dry, to seal in a little extra moisture.
As your uterus expands, pressure on your stomach can increase heartburn and indigestion. Avoiding lying down after eating, greasy and spicy foods, and large meals can certainly help. Also consider eating 6 small meals throughout the day and chewing slowly.
You’ve also passed the halfway mark in your pregnancy journey so it’s time to start thinking about and discussing your birth plan and medical preferences with your medical team and significant other.
Remember to floss. Your dental health plays an important role in your overall health and studies have shown that gingivitis during pregnancy can progress to periodontitis that has been linked to premature birth if left untreated.
Ease those aches and pains by pampering yourself! Whether that be with a professional prenatal massage or kicking your feet up after a long day. Take time to yourself for rest and relaxation.
If you’re experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, try gently shaking out your joints, taking stretch breaks, and propping up your arms and legs in the evenings.
Sleep troubles persisting? Try purchasing a pregnancy pillow if placing a pillow between your knees to make yourself more comfortable hasn’t done the trick yet.