By the 24th week, the baby bump has grown bigger and people will want to touch and congratulate you. The baby is also maturing and you have all the time to enjoy the movements and elevated energy levels.
Baby’s growth and development in week twenty four
By now, the baby has grown and reached around 1.3 pounds in weight and 11.9 inches in length. This is indeed a milestone because if the baby is born prematurely, chances of survival would be 50%.
The lungs continue developing and improving their function. The air sacs continue practicing with amniotic fluid and but will not be until the last weeks of pregnancy that the lungs will be ready for actual breathing.
By the 24th week, the bones continue hardening. The skeleton is made of cartilage that keeps adding calcium and phosphorous for progressive hardening.
The skin is still very thin but is transforming from a transparent outlook to a translucent membrane. The new outer layer of cells being added will undergo keratinization that will transform them into a protective cover. New cells will keep adding on the inner part of the skin and replace the outer protective layer being shed away in a continuous cycle.
A continuous layer of hair (lanugo) is seen covering the entire body with entrapping of vernix (a special layer of waxy substance). The two help to protect the baby’s skin and the baby in general from the surrounding water as well as waste products in the amniotic fluid.
The heartbeat has slowed down by the 24th week though it is still beating significantly faster compared to a normal human being. For those who want to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, it is a great idea to buy a heart listener. This is a tool to help you bond together the three of you (mother, father and unborn baby).
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 24
Fetal movements: Fetal movements in this week will become stronger but rhythmic. By the close of the week, you will start noticing that the movements stop completely and are progressive in other times. This represents the time when he/she is awake and asleep respectively. Remember to enjoy these movements as much as possible because once the baby is born, you will miss them so much.
Mild pregnancy symptoms: By the 24th week, most of the symptoms are mild and you are sure of enjoying every moment. It will not be until the third trimester that the pregnancy will become more uncomfortable delivery.
Vaginal discharge: You could note elevated level of vaginal discharge caused by the extensive network of blood vessels in the blood. The discharge should be odorless and clear. The only cause of alarm is if you notice it is stained with blood. However, if you are unsure, do not hesitate to call your doctor. It is better to get confirmation from the doctor as opposed to being sorry.
Forgetfulness: Forgetfulness remains an outstanding symptom in this week. The problem is contributed by hormonal changes, fatigue, and stress during pregnancy. To address the problem, you need to become more organized. For example, consider using a planner and set alerts on your smartphone. You can also develop a habit of taking a notebook with you so that you can check what needs to be done at specific times.
Increase in appetite: Though not as intense as the first trimester, you will start experiencing intense appetite for food. This is not uncommon because the body requires extra food to help with baby growth and also prepare mom’s body for after birth breastfeeding. While this is in order, the best thing is ensuring you are using nutritious foods.
Weight gain: The average weight gain by the 24th week is about 16-17 lbs. However, if you are underweight or overweight, the gain could be a little different and there is nothing to worry about.
Things to do during the 24th week
- Enjoy the pregnancy and your baby: Now that the stressful symptoms are gone, you need to enjoy every moment with the baby. Once the baby is born, you will be surprised to see a lot of people from friends to relatives trooping to your apartment and privacy with the infant will get lost.
- By the 24th week, the baby’s ears are developed enough to get your sound and you need to communicate even more. You might consider reading the favorite book, magazine, or a novel. You could also consider singing for the baby. Every moment the baby hears your voice, he/she will respond with movements. Remember not to scare the baby with very loud noises such as bombastic music.
- If you had not selected the child’s name, the 24th week is an ideal moment. Remember that a name is very critical because it will be the baby’s personal identity for the rest of his/her life. Check various baby naming sites so that the name has great meaning and will propel the baby to greatness.
- Take some time out with your partner and capture the moment. For example, you can check into your favorite hotel to enjoy lovely dishes, good time, and get a few photos for your album.
- Enjoy your regular exercises to help you stay healthy, promote proper baby growth, and lower chances of complications during delivery. If the exercises you were used to previously are becoming stressful, review them and go for milder ones such as Yoga, walking, and basketball.
- Continue shopping for baby items and storing them well in your house. This is a great moment to start visualizing how the life with the baby in the house will be.
- As early as now, take a trip to the medical insurance company to confirm that everything is in order with the medical cover. It is important to ensure that such guarantees are provided in writing so that your delivery and later after-care are well catered for.
- Share personal experiences with other moms in the same week of pregnancy. You can meet them in the healthcare facility attending regular prenatal classes of even online. Such groups are very enlightening because you can share the same experiences and learn from them. Besides, there are so many things about pregnancy that only a mother can appreciate and share with you.