Week 24

Your baby this week

600

GRAMS IN WEIGHT

He's testing out his facial muscles by raising his eyebrows.

He's skin is taking on a pink glow as his capillaries develop.

Your baby's brain is growing rapidly.

How big is your baby?

He’s beginning to take up more space in your uterus now, weighing 600g (1lb 5oz) and measuring 30cm (11.8in). That’s about the size of an ear of corn on the cob.

How big is your baby?

He’s beginning to take up more space in your uterus now, weighing 600g (1lb 5oz) and measuring 30cm (11.8in). That’s about the size of an ear of corn on the cob.

What does your baby look like?

By week 24 your baby’s paper thin skin is gradually becoming more opaque and taking on a fresh, pink glow as his capillaries develop. He still looks quite wrinkly though, as his skin is made more quickly than he can fill it out with fat.

Changes in your body this week

It’s around this stage that piles (or haemorrhoids, to give them their proper name) might make an unwelcome appearance. These are basically varicose veins in your bottom, you may notice itchy bumps around your anus and bright red blood in the toilet or on the paper when you wipe. It’s your sluggish digestion to blame here (pesky hormones), but the good news is that there are creams available to soothe the itching and numb any discomfort.

How your baby is developing

Week 24 is a magic pregnancy number in many ways. If your baby were to make an emergency entrance now, he would stand a chance of survival. From this week onwards your baby is considered viable because his lungs could be developed enough to work outside the womb.

Extreme prematurity is rare though and it will most likely be weeks and weeks before you get to meet your baby.

How your baby is developing

Week 24 is a magic pregnancy number in many ways. If your baby were to make an emergency entrance now, he would stand a chance of survival. From this week onwards your baby is considered viable because his lungs could be developed enough to work outside the womb. Extreme prematurity is rare though and it will most likely be weeks and weeks before you get to meet your baby.

In preparation however his brain is growing rapidly and he is testing out his facial muscles by raising his tiny eyebrows.

Health concerns

Gestational hypertension (high blood pressure in pregnancy) is something which might be diagnosed after week 20 of pregnancy. If you had it before 20 weeks then it’s highly likely that you had it prior to pregnancy. This is known as essential chronic hypertension and means that you will still continue to have it after the birth. High blood pressure is something which will be picked up by your midwife during routine tests. Roughly one in ten pregnant women will have gestational hypertension and a small number of these will have to go to hospital for further tests.

Are there any symptoms you should be looking out for?

Dry eye syndrome is often something which develops during pregnancy. It means your eyes will feel dry and gritty and be more sensitive to light. If your eyes do start to feel like this, then a visit to your GP is recommended just to check that there’s no scarring or infection causing the dry eyes. Treatment can also be sought over the counter – but do remember to check with your pharmacist that any remedies you choose are suitable to be taken/applied during pregnancy.

Safety first

One of the biggest warning signs to look out for during later pregnancy is sudden, severe swelling (oedema). A little bit of swelling is totally normal, but if it seems extreme in any sense then it could possibly be a sign of pre-eclampsia (a dangerous condition for mother and baby). Look out for facial, uneven, or any out of the ordinary swelling and if you do notice any of these you must seek medical attention urgently. To put it into perspective, pre-eclampsia is more of an A&E trip than a phone call to your midwife.

Important issues this week

If this is a second or subsequent pregnancy, are you planning a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)? Although it would mean that you are a higher risk patient, it’s usually possible to have a VBAC. However, this depends on certain factors, such as whether you’ve delivered vaginally before, how many pregnancies you’ve had and how many C-sections. Uterine rupture – tearing of the c-section scar – during labour is a significant risk. Planning a VBAC would rule out homebirth and even birthing in a midwife-led unit because the risk of complications is raised; placenta accreta for example, where your placenta embeds into the scar tissue from a previous section can be a significant problem carrying the risk of severe bleeding and possible hysterectomy. If you’re considering a VBAC, it’s a good idea to take time to research the idea thoroughly before you actually make up your mind one way or the other.

Keeping fit, staying healthy

The odd dizzy spell during pregnancy is totally normal. However, if you’re having prolonged bouts of dizziness, or you find yourself fainting or feeling faint a lot of the time, then it’s possible that you could be anaemic (your blood is lacking sufficient iron). Treatment for this is simply to increase your iron intake, which can mean taking prescribed tablets, or if you are more mildly anaemic then just look to ramp up the amount of iron in your diet. Fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables and red meat are all good sources of iron. As ever, talk to your midwife if you’re worried that you might be anaemic.

Looking forward; planning ahead

As you reach week 24, it’s approaching the time when you will need to start thinking about serious preparations for your baby’s arrival. One of most crucial decisions that you need to make will be where your baby will sleep. Will he start off in a Moses basket? Or in a Sleepyhead pod next to your bed? Or straight into a cot? Safety issues aside, it’s a good idea to begin deciding which nursery furniture you would like, especially if you want or need higher-end or really popular items as these may need to be ordered well in advance. Getting everything ready for a sleeping (and waking) baby is important because a well-thought-out baby’s room/area with changing and feeding implements to hand can make all the difference as you navigate night time disruption.

Important – If you or your child are unwell you should seek medical advice from a professional – contact your GP or visit an A&E department in an emergency. While My BabyManual strives to provide dependable and trusted information on pregnancy and childcare 24/7 via our website pages, we cannot provide individual answers to specific healthcare questions.
Please sign in to comment on this article.
Be the first to write a comment on this article.

Fitness and exercise

Discover why pool-based exercises are the perfect recipe for good pregnanc...

Read More

Miscarriage

Late miscarriage is always devastating but there is support available to h...

Read More

Week 24

Your pre-pregnancy BMI is important when considering how much weight gain ...

Read More