24 weeks pregnant
24 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development
When you are 24 weeks pregnant, your baby's movements may feel a little stronger and more noticeable, with pokes and kicks becoming more frequent. His muscles have been growing, and he now has much more muscle tone.
By 24 weeks, your baby's inner ear is fully developed. This organ controls his sense of balance, and helps your baby sense if he's right side up or not in the womb.
Although your baby's lungs are formed by this week, his lungs will only be ready to function normally in the outside world after they start producing a substance called surfactant. This will start in the upcoming weeks — often around week 26.
By 24 weeks, you may be noticing times when your baby's movement levels seem to increase, such as before bedtime, and other times when your baby seems to move less, which could occur when your baby is busy sleeping. Your healthcare provider can advise you on whether you should be monitoring your baby's movements.
If you're 24 weeks pregnant with twins, learn more about what you might be experiencing in our twin pregnancy FAQs.
How Big Is Your Baby at 24 Weeks?
Now that you're 24 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of a full ear of corn. He weighs a little more than a pound (450 grams), and he is almost 8 inches long (20 centimetres) from crown to rump.
Mom's Body at 24 Weeks Pregnant
At 24 weeks pregnant, you're nearly through the second trimester, which ends at week 27. By this stage, you may have gained about 10 or 15 pounds (about 4.5 to 7 kilograms), and your belly is still growing day by day. As your belly grows, you might want to try wearing a maternity belt or belly band to keep your abdomen well supported when you exercise. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise will help you feel better both physically and emotionally during pregnancy. Plus, staying fit during pregnancy will make it easier to lose the weight you've gained later on, after your baby is born.
Wondering how many months along you are at 24 weeks pregnant? Well, in terms of months, 24 weeks pregnant puts you approximately at the tail end of month six.
24 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Skin changes. You might start noticing darker patches of skin on your body and face due to hormonal changes. This happens because the pigment-bearing cells called melanin are stimulated. The brown patches on your face are called chloasma, and the dark line down your abdomen is called the linea nigra. After your baby is born, these pigmented areas usually fade with time. Experts say that avoiding heavy sun exposure and using sunscreen can help reduce chloasma. As your body grows, you might also notice red streaks where the skin stretches. Stretch marks during pregnancy are most likely to occur on areas like your belly, buttocks, and breasts. Stretch marks can't be prevented, but they can fade over time after the birth of your baby. You might also experience itchiness as your skin stretches; applying moisturizer might help reduce the itchy feeling.
Round ligament pain. You might be experiencing pain on either one or both sides of your abdomen or hip area. This could be round ligament pain, which is quite common during pregnancy. It happens because the ligaments holding your uterus in place are becoming strained and stretched. Gently stretching and changing positions may help reduce the pain. If the pain ever gets too intense; if it's accompanied by other symptoms at 24 weeks pregnant, such as fever or bleeding; or if you're at all worried, contact your healthcare provider for a checkup.
Trouble sleeping. The size of your belly at 24 weeks pregnant might make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Some well-placed pillows can help! Try sleeping on your side with your knees bent and with one pillow between your legs and another one under your belly for support.
Loss of balance and dizziness. Your growing belly affects how your weight is distributed, making it a little easier to feel off balance. On top of this, changes in circulation can make you feel dizzy or light-headed. It may help to move slowly (particularly when you get up or change positions), drink lots of water, and stay cool. If you do feel dizzy, lie down on your side, if you can. If you're concerned, ask your healthcare provider for advice.
Leg cramps. Have you been experiencing painful calf or foot muscle contractions lately? It's not unusual to feel this kind of cramping at 24 weeks pregnant. In fact, you might encounter this symptom from time to time right up until the day your baby is born. Although experts don't know the exact cause of leg cramps during pregnancy, they do agree what to do about them. Stretch your calf muscles before you go to sleep at night, stay physically fit through regular exercise, and drink plenty of water to help reduce cramping.
24 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider
As your belly grows, you and your partner may be wondering whether sex is still safe. If your pregnancy is progressing normally, having sex is probably safe, but if your pregnancy has complications, your healthcare provider may recommend you abstain. Because everyone's situation is unique, your provider is the best person to ask about your specific situation. Read up on sex during pregnancy for more information, and discuss your feelings with your partner, too. Keep in mind that during pregnancy, the sex drive of both you and your partner may vary.
A glucose screening test is usually done some time between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. The test will help your healthcare provider assess your risk of gestational diabetes. Your provider will advise you if you need this test; to learn more, see our article on glucose screening and testing.
As your belly gets larger, you'll need to make adjustments to your daily routine, such as how you can fasten your seatbelt to safely protect you and your baby. The lap strap of the seatbelt should go under your belly and rest snugly against your hip bones. Put the shoulder strap across the centre of your chest rather than under your arm. Never cross any part of the seatbelt over your belly.
Staying hydrated is important, but many people struggle to drink enough each day. As a mom-to-be, you need plenty of water to stay healthy and to support your growing baby. Experts recommend you drink about 10 cups (2.3 litres) of fluid a day. Get the bulk of your fluid intake from water, but you could also have the occasional juice or, coffee, too. If you tend to forget to drink during your busy day, set a phone reminder that prompts you to drink a glass of water every few hours; download a hydration app that tracks your intake and reminds you if you fall behind; or set out full bottles of water at the start of each day to prompt you to get through all of them.
24 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor
Are there any screenings or tests I need to schedule during this trimester?
Do I need to drink filtered tap water?
Are there any foods I should eat more of? Any I need to avoid?
How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
24 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
Familiarize yourself with the signs of preterm labor
Seek immediate medical attention if any fluid leaks or gushes from your vagina
Talk to your partner about your new roles as parents and how it may affect your relationship
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