Your baby is the size of an ear of corn

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.

The Size of the Fetus at 24 Weeks Pregnant

Now that you’re 24 weeks pregnant, your fetus 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.

Take a peek at how your baby may be looking this week:

Baby at 24 weeks pregnant

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 being six months pregnant. Keep in mind, there are many different ways to divide the weeks of pregnancy into months.

24 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

At 24 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • 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.

  • It might be a good idea to start discussing your preferences for childbirth with your healthcare provider, midwife, and birth partner. Your birth partner could be your partner or another trusted friend or loved one. The more your birth partner and your provider knows about your personal preferences and the kind of birth you’d like to have, the better they can support you when the time comes. Your birth partner can support you by helping with certain comfort measures like massages, and give you lots of encouragement and emotional support. There’s still lots of time to have these discussions and to write a birth plan, if you’d like to, but now is a good time to start having these conversations.

  • Although your baby’s arrival is still a few months away, and your baby being able to crawl and walk could be almost a year away, the second trimester is still a great time to start baby proofing. This is because you may have a bit of energy for it now, and once your baby has arrived you will have lots of other things on your plate. Check out our tips on how to baby proof your home. Remember, while you can get some things out of the way now (like securing electric cables and adding child proof locks to low cupboards) baby proofing is an ongoing task and you’ll need to revisit it before your little one can crawl.

24 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • Are there any screenings or tests you need to schedule before the end of this trimester?

  • Do you need to drink filtered tap water?

  • Are there any foods you should eat more of? Any you need to avoid?

  • Are there any vaccinations you need to get while you’re pregnant? When is the best time to have them, to ensure the best protection for you and your little one?

  • What help is available if you’re feeling down while pregnant?

24 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Feeling stressed? Pamper yourself with a prenatal massage. Find a massage therapist who is specially trained to treat moms-to-be.

  • The next few weeks could be a good opportunity to travel before your baby is born. After about 28 weeks of pregnancy, it’s typically more difficult to travel, because walking a lot can be tiring and sitting for long periods can be extremely uncomfortable. If you’ve been thinking about a getaway, start organizing a last-minute vacation. It’s not a bad idea to discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider. You can also read our article on travel during pregnancy.

  • Have some fun with our Baby Name Generator if you need some inspiration to find the perfect name for your little one.

  • In the third trimester, you’ll have a lot on your plate, so take the time now to get a few things done, such as packing your hospital bag.

  • Sign up for even more weekly pregnancy tips:

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.