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.
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).
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.