Your baby at 24 weeks is the size of an ear of corn. They are roughly 30.4cm from the top of their head to their heel (crown-heel length) and weigh approximately 665g.
You are now 6 months pregnant, only 3 more months to go!
Your baby at 24 weeks
The foetus at 24 weeks is definitely making themselves known with more frequent and intense movements. Slowly but steadily they are putting on weight and getting stronger each day.
Here are the key developments your little one is going through during week 24:
Your baby’s body
Your baby’s face now has eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair. Will they be a brunette, a blond, or a redhead? It’s too early to tell right now. Their hair is white since it doesn’t contain pigment just yet.
They also don’t have many fat deposits yet and their skin is transparent. If you could see into the womb, you’d be able to examine all of their tiny organs, bones, and blood vessels.
Don’t worry, by the time they’re ready to make their big debut they’ll be much more plump and opaque.
A 24-week foetus is starting to hear all sorts of different sounds. From inside the womb, they are listening to your lungs exhaling air, your tummy rumbles, and your heartbeat.
From outside the womb, they are beginning to recognise you and your partner’s voice. Loud noises are also able to be detected, like horns hooting, dogs barking, and sirens. They may even start to react to the sounds they hear.
If born prematurely, a 24-week foetus is able to survive outside of the womb, although it would need a lot of help. Their survival rate is placed between 60 and 70%.
Their body is not ready to cope in the outside world on its own and they would be placed in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for a lengthy stay.
Your body at 24 weeks pregnant
Towards the end of your second trimester, pregnancy symptoms become increasingly noticeable. Your body is going through all sorts of changes to accommodate your growing fetus.
Here are some common symptoms to look out for when pregnant at 24 weeks:
- Round ligament pain. This common pregnancy symptom feels like a sharp sensation or jabbing feeling on one of both sides of your abdomen or hip area. It’s spurred on by the ligaments around your uterus being stretched and strained to accommodate your growing belly. If the pain becomes too intense, however, or it’s followed by other symptoms, such as bleeding, contact your healthcare provider.
- Back pain. Another not-so-nice pregnancy but common and normal symptom is back pain. As your baby bump grows, your uterus presses against your spine, causing it to strain. Also, your back muscles are working extra hard to support more weight. And on top of that, pregnancy hormones, like relaxin and progesterone, are causing your ligaments to relax.
- Growing belly. Your stomach is going through lots of changes these days. At 24 weeks pregnant, you’ve probably started to notice that your belly button is looking a bit different. As your uterus expands, it forces your abdomen forward. This can cause your belly button to look more flat than normal. Starting at around 26 weeks, it could turn from an innie to an outie. The Linea Nigra is the dark line that appears on some pregnant bellies owing to hormones. It runs down the centre of the stomach and becomes more pronounced as pregnancy progresses.
- Stretch marks. Developing stretch marks during pregnancy is very common. You could start to notice them popping up as early as 13 weeks, although they are more common in the late second, or third trimester. They range in color, from light pink, purple, and red, to yellow, tan, or sometimes brown. The good news is, some stretch marks don’t stay forever. As your skin slowly starts to repair, they can fade over time.
Taking care of yourself when 6 months pregnant
Paying attention to both your mental and physical health during pregnancy is very important. It benefits both you and your baby.
Here are some helpful reminders and useful tips for taking care of yourself during week 24 of pregnancy:
- Pay attention to protein. Incorporating protein into your daily diet is crucial for your baby’s growth and development. During pregnancy, your protein needs increase; you need about 25 extra grams per day. Good sources include lean meat, fish, and eggs. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, beans, legumes, nuts, and soy products are excellent sources of protein – they also contain plenty of other beneficial nutrients.
- Kegel exercises. It’s never too early to start going kegel exercises during pregnancy. These pelvic floor strengthening “workouts” tone the muscles that support the uterus, bladder, and bowels. Simply squeeze the muscles around the vagina for 10 seconds, then slowly release. Repeat in repetitions of 20, about five times a day. By doing these exercises, you will be better able to control these muscles during labor and birth.
- Keep moving. The second trimester is the perfect time to get into the habit of exercising every day. Around 24 weeks is the sweet spot where you still have energy and your bump isn’t too big just yet. Walking, swimming, and low-impact weight training are all great workouts that don’t place too much strain on your joints. Other activities that are generally considered safe during pregnancy are prenatal pilates, pregnancy-safe yoga, and stationary indoor cycling.
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