That face! At 24 weeks pregnant, your baby's facial features are becoming more defined. At this rate, your little one will be ready for all those photos you'll snap after you give birth!
On the symptoms front, around now is the time your belly button may have "popped." It will go back to normal after delivery.
Your Baby at Week 24
She’s still just a hair over 8 inches long and weighs just a pound and a half, but this week your baby is starting to look much more like the cuddly cutie you've been picturing in your mind’s eye. Granted, her mini mug has some filling out to do, as does the rest of her slender silhouette, but as she accumulates more muscle and fat, she’ll plump up nicely.
And here's another benefit to her rounding out. Once your skinny-minnie puts on more subcutaneous fat, her now translucent skin will become opaque. In other words, you won’t be able to see right through her birthday suit to her organs, bones, and veins like you could now…that is, if you had a window on your womb.
Is she ready for her close-up? Almost. She’s still sporting bright white eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair, all of which have yet to acquire pigment. When they change to brown, red, black or blonde, you’ll have your very own cover girl.
And here’s a breaking brain bulletin: If you were to measure your little one’s brain wave activity you’d see that it’s similar to that of a newborn infant. Wondering what that means? Those brains cells have matured enough to develop conscious thought and, most probably, memory.
Couple that with her amped up auditory system and it’s no wonder that babies who hear certain musical pieces while in utero recognize — and are calmed — by that same music when they’re born. So crank up the Beethoven, Beatles, or Black Eyed Peas…your baby’s sure to get her groove on — now and later!
At a Glance
24 weeks pregnant is how many months?
If you're 24 weeks pregnant, you're in month 6 of your pregnancy. Only 3 months left to go! Still have questions? Here's some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
How big is my baby at 24 weeks?
Your baby is about 11½ inches long and weighs 1 pound, gaining steadily at a rate of about 6 ounces per week. Much of that weight comes from growing organs, bones, muscle and accumulating baby fat.
Baby’s face is formed
Wondering what (and who) your baby will look like? If you had a baby cam at 24 weeks pregnant, you'd almost be able to tell by now. That beautiful face, though still tiny, is almost fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows and hair.
Will your baby have brown, black, blond or red hair — or something in between? Actually, right now her locks are white, since there's no pigment yet. The fat that will be piled on under baby's skin is also missing from the picture right now.
Until those fat deposits are made, that very tender skin is still very transparent, which means a close look would let you see clear through to all the organs, bones and blood vessels. Fortunately, that see-through look won't last much longer.
What's been playing on your little rocker's stereo system these days? All kinds of sounds can be heard by your baby in your womb: air exhaling from your lungs — deep breath now — those gastric gurgles produced by your stomach and intestines, your voice and your partner's, which your baby will be able to recognize at birth, and even very loud sounds such as honking horns, barking dogs or a wailing fire truck.
Your Body at Week 24
Belly button changes
If your former innie is now an outie, welcome to the club. Almost every expectant mom's pregnant belly button pops at some point as that swelling uterus pushes on everything in its path.
Things should return to normal after delivery, though your navel, and some other parts of your body, might look a bit, well, stretched. Just think of it as one more badge of honor that only moms get to wear.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
What other pregnancy woe is pushing your buttons when you’re 24 weeks pregnant? Well, probably your uncomfortably numb wrists and fingers. Chances are it could be carpal tunnel syndrome.
The uncomfortable tingling and numbness you notice in your wrists and fingers is usually associated with work that requires repetitive motion, such as typing, but carpal tunnel strikes pregnant women for a different reason — though repetitive motion can definitely contribute.
The swelling that's so common during pregnancy causes fluids to accumulate in your lower extremities during the day, which are redistributed to the rest of your body, including your hands, when you're lying down — putting pressure on the nerve that runs through your wrist. That causes numbness, tingling, pain or a dull ache in the fingers, hand or wrist.
Get relief by avoiding sleeping on your hands and propping your arms up with a pillow at night. Shaking your hands and wrists might also help. Be sure, too, that if you are doing repetitive motions such as piano playing or typing, which can aggravate your symptoms, take frequent hand-stretching breaks.
If you're in a lot of pain, a wrist brace might be just the ticket to comfort. Luckily, when the regular swelling of pregnancy stops after delivery, the carpal tunnel symptoms go away, too.
Soothing red, itchy palms
Sure, you'd heard that pregnancy comes with a variety of symptoms, most of them not very pleasant — actually, none of them very pleasant, unless you count fast-growing hair, nails and breasts. But maybe you didn't expect so many seemingly random symptoms — such as the red, itchy palms that have nothing to do with the amount of dishwashing you're doing. The red may spread, too, to the soles of your feet, though you're less likely to notice that once your feet become more difficult to see.
Though this is a relatively normal symptom, especially this far into pregnancy, be sure to mention it to your doctor — there's a chance it could indicate a rare complication called cholestasis of pregnancy, though this is more common in the third trimester.
You can blame those pesky hormones for this one, too — along with virtually all the other strange symptoms you'll have as the months go by, like the metallic taste in your mouth, skin tags appearing out of nowhere, bigger feet, increased saliva and vision changes, to name a few.
As for getting the red out, there are no sure solutions...besides delivery. Until then, avoid anything that makes the red redder, such as becoming overheated, taking long, hot baths or showers or wearing too-warm or too-tight gloves or socks.
Some women find relief by soaking their hands and feet in cold water or applying an ice pack for a few minutes a couple times a day. You might even try going on a dishwashing strike while you're expecting — just tell your spouse it's doctor's orders!
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 24
Tips for You This Week
Your doctor will give you the glucose screening between 24 and 28 weeks. If your blood sugar levels show that you have gestational diabetes — a temporary condition that appears during pregnancy — you'll likely have to modify your diet, monitor your blood sugar at home, and possibly increase your activity levels.
While researchers aren't certain why some women get gestational diabetes while others don’t, they do know that you may be at an increased risk if you are overweight, are older, are pregnant with multiples, have a higher level of abdominal fat, or have a family history of diabetes.
Suffering from dry skin during pregnancy? Taking too many baths can strip your skin of its moisture.
Stick to short showers — which is good training for actual motherhood — in warm, not hot, water, and use a mild cleanser. For very dry skin, try a moisturizer or put a warm-mist humidifier in your room.
Have you considered hiring a doula to help with delivery and early baby care? A doula’s duty is to be your head cheerleader during delivery. Unlike an OB/GYN or midwife, doulas do not have medical training — instead, they’re there to support you emotionally.
Some studies show that moms with doulas are less likely to require C-sections, inductions and pain relief, while births may be shorter with a lower rate of complications.
Your freezer is your friend; cook once and fill it many times over with nutritious leftovers.
Make a large tray of lasagna by layering defrosted frozen spinach or broccoli on top of the pasta along with some shredded cheese, good-quality jarred tomato sauce and lean ground beef or turkey. Slice the leftovers into individual portions and then freeze to reheat and feast another day.
The same goes for soups and stews — make a vat and freeze into single-serve containers, then reheat them later as a nourishing snack. Ditto mini meat loaves and muffins.
For the fridge, boil a dozen eggs at a time: Mash half into egg salad for lunch today and tomorrow and keep the rest intact for snacks on the run — or snacks to keep you going while you make dinner.
Cut up enough fruit salad or veggies to keep you happily and healthily munching for days. And instead of grilling one chicken breast for dinner, grill four or more; the rest will make delicious sandwiches, salad toppings for dinner or fajita fillings in the days to come.
And by the way, you don't have to go it all alone. Make it a team effort and enlist the help of your partner if you have one, family, friends, neighbors and even other children if this isn't your first!
Pregnancy can put a lot of pressure on you — including on the veins in the rectal area, which can swell and bulge. Hemorrhoids are extremely common when you’re pregnant, but take some comfort (if you can get comfortable, that is) in the fact that they're perfectly harmless.
Keep it clean down there by using warm water and white two-ply toilet paper after a bowel movement. Don't wipe too hard (that just makes it worse) or linger on the toilet. If TP is too harsh, switch to wipes (preferably those made with plain water or designed for sensitive skin) instead.
To ease the discomfort, try soaking in a warm (not hot) bath.
Having trouble putting on enough pounds during pregnancy? Or are you gaining weight too slowly? Inadequate weight gain can increase your risk of preterm delivery, having a low birth weight baby and other pregnancy issues.
So how little is too little when it comes to pregnancy weight gain? That all depends.
When you first got pregnant, your practitioner probably gave you a range to aim for based on several factors, including what your pre-pregnancy weight was.
If you've been told to gain the standard 25-to-35-pound total in your pregnancy, for example, next week at 25 weeks pregnant you should have put on anywhere from 13 to 19 of those pounds.
If you're falling short, you'll want to kick your weight-gain efforts into higher gear. Talk to your doctor or midwife for some advice.
Want to increase your odds of delivering a full-term baby? Put your dental floss where your mouth is. Surprisingly, research links good dental health and oral hygiene with longer pregnancies. Sounds crazy — but it's true.
Something as simple as brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly can reduce the risk of gingivitis — a common condition in which your gums become inflamed, red and even begin to bleed.
Untreated gingivitis (that's where the regular dental checkups come in) can progress to periodontitis — a more serious infection of the teeth — which has been linked to premature birth and even an increased risk of preeclampsia.
Keep on top of your teeth, and that old (untrue) wives' tale — the one that claims a woman loses a tooth with each pregnancy — can finally be put to rest.
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