Motherhood & Parenting
At 24 weeks pregnant, that brief comfort you found during your second trimester is probably fading as you start to feel those late-pregnancy pains such as swollen hands or feet, backaches, leg cramps, etc. Meanwhile, inside your belly, your tiny one is just having the time of their life as they move around in excitement, trying to get ready to survive in the outside world that awaits them.
Think of this as a window to what those first few years of motherhood will be: an energetic child bouncing around, always keeping you on your toes. As you try to get used to this now, you’re getting practice for those future years. Patience is a mother’s best friend and now that you have these last few months before you baby’s here, spend your time trying to connect with your inner patience, so you can bring it out when you need it the most.
As messy as this week maybe, remember that you will get through this just as you have in the 21 weeks before this.
The size of the baby at 24 weeks is around 11.8 inches, approximately 1.3 pounds in weight. My, my, how much has your tiny one grown. Right now, the size of the baby at 24 weeks is around that of a cantaloupe. Your baby is going to be most active in the weeks from now, up until week 28. Your baby’s eyes are still shut, but all the parts have developed but the iris does not have any pigmentation yet.
The brain is developing fast and the lungs have been formed, but are not working yet. Their skin is becoming more and more opaque, taking on a pinkish glow due to all the small capillaries that have now been formed. By the end of the pregnancy, the skin will be fully opaque as yours.
Under your 24 week baby bump, your baby is probably gaining some strength in their kicks. With each day, they grow more powerful. Soon, others who you allow to touch your belly, such as your partner (if you have one) will be able to feel it too.
You will have gained weight along with the expansion of your 24 week baby bump. For those with normal BMI, around 14 to 16 pounds is the normal weight gain by this week. The actual figure will be recommended by your doctor. If you have gained slightly more, don’t worry because that is alright. You only need to be concerned in case of drastic weight gain or weight loss. However, it is still important to be cautious and keep an eye on your intake, to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Ah, here are some of those discomforts back at it again. In contrast to your baby who is having so much fun growing inside your belly, your 24 weeks pregnant symptoms will probably bring with them certain aches and pains. Right now, you may be feeling on the edge, trying to keep a hold of all that is happening inside you and around you.
Remember to take a breather and try to search for products that will make this journey as comfortable for you as possible. After all, looking after yourself automatically means looking after your baby and just for that, it is even more worth it.
Here are the 24 weeks pregnant symptoms that you may experience:
1. Swollen ankles and feet
All the excess body fluids and blood flow can make your feet feel puffy and even your hands may be mildly swollen. Remember to keep your feet elevated if you need and walk around a little if you have been sitting around for too long. In case of sudden swelling, severe swelling in hands, uneven swelling in both legs, and any swelling in the face call your OB immediately to get it checked out.
2. Leg cramps
During this week, your legs may feel achy, twitchy, and tight. This can be because of a number of reasons such as dehydration, lack of certain nutrients, etc. Drink a lot of water and keep your doctor informed about the status of the cramps. They usually aren’t anything to worry about, but in case the problem lies in a nutritional deficiency, your doctor will need to give you proper diet plans or supplements to make up for the absence.
3. Linea Nigra
Because of the infamous pregnancy hormones, your skin can go through changes, such as the appearance of a dark line that runs up the center of your belly, called linea nigra. This usually fades away after the baby is born, from any time between a few weeks to a few months.
As your baby grows, so does your uterus, which then puts pressure on your spine, making it more curved and strained. Your 24 week baby bump might give you bothersome backaches, especially now that you are carrying all this extra weight. Try looking for options to soothe this, such as pregnancy pillows for support during sleeping and other such comforts, discussing the safety with your OB. In case you are concerned because of severe pain, make sure to tell your OB as soon as possible so they can get it checked.
5. Blurred vision
Your vision can be affected by pregnancy changes, giving you dry, itchy eyes, along with a vision that is less sharp as compared to before. Ask your doctor for recommended pregnancy-safe eye drops and if you need to visit an ophthalmologist. Try to rest your eyes in between, so that you give them some moments of relief.
6. Stretch marks
These stripes are appearing more and more, as your skin continues stretching to accommodate your growing body. These may be apparent now if you are pregnant with twins.
If you find yourself feeling self-conscious, then think of the life inside of you and imagine these marks as tiger stripes that denote the bravery and strength that you have shown so far into this journey.
At the 24 weeks pregnant ultrasound, the baby is making progress both anatomically and in their looks. As they get closer and closer to the image of a newborn, many proper developments are finishing inside of them. They may move even more now than before, trying to make the most of the space they have now.
During this time, your doctor will usually ask you to go through a Glucose Challenge Screening Test, to check if there is any risk of gestational diabetes. In this, your body’s ability to process sugar is tested by first consuming a sweet liquid called Glucola and then getting blood drawn an hour later. Through this blood sample, the doctor will find out how your body processed the sugar.
If your doctor finds any abnormal results, they will ask you to go through a second test known as the Glucose Tolerance Test. For this one, your body’s ability to process sugar will be tested over a time frame of three hours.
If this shows that you do not have gestational diabetes, great! And if it shows that you do, don’t worry because this just means a little extra care such as more tips and suggestions, along with possible monitoring of the baby through extra ultrasounds.
Even as you feel yourself going through these discomforts, you cannot forget to go through your weekly self-care. These discomforts are even more reason to add a touch of extra to your pregnancy self-care checklist.
Healthy, nutritional diet
This a constant reminder because it is important to have a diet that is rich in nutrients such as iron, folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, calcium, protein, etc. Listen to your doctor’s suggestions on what you should add or remove from your menu. If you have been facing digestive problems such as heartburn, adding foods such as kiwi, papaya, yogurt, etc. can give you some much-needed relief. Continue with your prenatal vitamins and proper water intake.
If you are experiencing edema i.e. the swelling of hands and feet, try to go for comfortable clothing which is not tight on your skin, along with avoiding standing and sitting for too long. Sleep on your side and keep your feet elevated when you can to provide some relief.
More research on child care
As you are already researching child care, look for classes that provide courses on things you want to learn such as baby safety, etc. Talk about baby-proofing the room and also about if you want any help with the baby after delivery, such as a nanny, postpartum doula, and daycare. Remember to think over the pros and cons in detail and ask advice from friends and relatives who have previous experience.
This week, remember that the amount of stress and discomfort does not define your worth as a parent. You are doing so well, crossing each tiny but mighty milestone, walking on this road hand-in-hand with your precious baby. The finish line will be there soon, so hang in there for a bit more.