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At six months into your pregnancy, you’ve most likely gained 14 to 16 pounds (6-7 kg). If you’re following a healthy pregnancy diet, like avoiding lots of sweets and focusing on protein and vegetables, your weight is reflecting your baby’s growing needs. Here’s what you can expect at 24 weeks.
Your baby at week 24 of pregnancy
Your baby is developing, and so do their organs and features. Let’s take a closer look at those tiny changes that occur now.
How big is your baby?
Your baby has been growing steadily and is now about the size of an eggplant. They weigh about one and a third pounds (450 g) and measure 11.5 inches (29 cm).
Before long, the baby’s movements will become more consistent and possible to follow.
If a few hours pass without movement from your baby, it’s totally normal. You may not notice all their movements because they still have enough space inside the uterus to turn their back toward your belly. A baby can stay in this position for hours or even an entire day.
However, if you don’t feel your baby moving for longer periods, talk to your health care provider.
Many apps can help track the baby’s kicks and follow their daily rhythm. Your baby may kick harder when you drink water or cold beverages due to your sudden change in body temperature.
Positioning of your baby at 24 weeks
The baby’s general orientation has not changed that much from the previous week and will not do so till week 26 or even week 28. At the moment, they’re probably still in an upright position, with the head facing away from the cervix and birth canal.
Depending on your baby’s position, you might feel them kicking and stretching throughout the day, but they can also settle for hours.
Pregnancy week 24 fetal development
At 24 weeks, your baby has developed all body parts, including their face. Their skin is reddish and wrinkled, and because of a lack of underlying connective tissue, their skin is also thin and translucent.
Depending on your body type, your bump may be subtle or more prominent.
At this stage, babies have developed several organ systems. Their respiratory system and central nervous system are still being built, and coordination between the two systems is not yet well established. Your baby looks like a newborn, but they haven’t quite developed fat stores. If this is your first pregnancy, your belly may not be showing just yet.
Your baby has gained about 4 ounces (113 g) since last week. They are currently developing taste buds and can hear sounds coming from the environment. Their internal organs are beginning to function, including the liver and the spleen.
Your body at week 24 of pregnancy
By six months into your pregnancy, you’ve most likely gained 14 to 16 pounds (6-7 kg). If you’re following a healthy pregnancy diet, like avoiding lots of sweets and focusing on protein and vegetables, your weight gain will probably be steady. If you do notice a sudden increase or decrease in weight, contact your health care team right away.
At or before 24 weeks, morning sickness and other pesky symptoms should ease. Your body continues to change, but these changes aren’t too drastic. You may notice sensations in your abdomen or lower back that feel like menstrual cramping.
For some people, these feelings can be difficult to distinguish from early labor. Talk to your health care provider about the difference between these normal stretching pains and genuine contractions.
Generally, contractions are rhythmic, happening every 10 and 15 minutes. Before “true” labor begins, you might have so-called “false” labor (prodromal) pains, also known as Braxton Hicks contractions.
However, Braxton Hicks contractions shouldn’t be regular, rhythmic, or last for more than a few hours. If you have pains every 10 or 15 minutes, visit your health care provider right away.
You may feel pressure and discomfort in your pelvis and joints, and you could also begin noticing heartburn. At this stage of pregnancy, some people develop constipation, gas, and bloating. Now is the time to pay more attention to your diet and avoid processed foods, as well as overly spicy dishes.
24 weeks pregnant belly
At this point, your bump size will depend a lot on your height, pre-pregnancy weight, and body type, as well as whether this is your first pregnancy.
Depending on your abdominal shape, the baby’s movements may show while you’re sitting or lying down. People with larger bodies may not notice as many baby movements.
If this is your second or third pregnancy, your baby bump may be showing earlier.
However, if your belly begins enlarging rapidly or is covered in stretch marks, you may have excess amniotic fluid, and your doctor may recommend an ultrasound. Unless your belly is unexpectedly large for this stage of pregnancy, there’s no major cause for concern.
24 weeks pregnant symptoms
At 24 weeks, most first- and second-trimester aches have often faded, and second-trimester discomfort may be increasing. While you may feel more inspired, energetic, and positive, your growing baby is putting extra pressure on your bladder, causing frequent urination. You may notice other common signs:
- Steadily increasing body weight
- Growing breasts
- Vaginal discharge
Your health care provider can clarify what type and amount of discharge to expect. This depends on your health history and individual body characteristics.
Increased vaginal discharge is normal at 24 weeks, but it shouldn't have a foul smell or appear dark brown, green, or red (pink, burgundy, etc.).
In most cases, vaginal discharge is totally expected and safe. Rarely, soaked underwear can indicate an amniotic leak, which needs medical attention.
Some pregnant people notice a tingling sensation in their joints, which is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. This common condition is due to a fluid buildup in the joints, which compresses the median nerve.
Many people experience piles (hemorrhoids) at some point during pregnancy or after giving birth. Hemorrhoids form due to increased pressure on the blood vessels in the colon. You can prevent piles by eating high-fiber foods, moving regularly, and gaining weight gradually.
24 weeks pregnant ultrasound
By now, your baby weighs approximately 1.5 pounds (680 g) and is about 12.6 inches (32 cm) long.
This week, your baby’s heart rate will range from 120 to 160 beats per minute. At this stage, babies have developed most of their organ systems.
On an ultrasound, your baby looks almost like a newborn, including facial features, but they don’t have fat stores yet.
24 weeks pregnant lifestyle
Amidst the aches and heartburn, it’s almost time to start getting ready for your baby’s arrival.
In just a few days, your baby will be considered viable. However, to avoid premature labor, plan on taking it easy from week 30 onward. Now is a great time to design and prepare your nursery and gather baby clothes and supplies.
This is also a great time to make a few adjustments to your home, such as installing baby proofing.
Sex at week 24 of pregnancy
Sex is perfectly safe at 24 weeks, as long as your health care provider hasn’t said otherwise. Your OB/GYN may encourage you to opt for non-penetrative sex if you have certain risk factors like a history of infection or the possibility of premature labor.
However you choose to have sex while pregnant, make sure you feel comfortable and keep pressure off your belly or lower pelvis.
Here are a few tasks you may want to consider during your 24th week of pregnancy:
- Plan postpartum childcare. What kind of outside support will you need after childbirth? Start to narrow your options for care.
- Prepare a nursery. This is a great time to set up your nursery, planning details like furniture, colors, and safety measures.
- Check for gestational diabetes. Get a glucose-screening test to assess for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) which is an alteration in glucose metabolism that first appears during pregnancy. Left untreated, it can lead to premature labor, unhealthy weight gain for the baby, and longer-term health concerns. The best time to screen for diabetes during pregnancy is at the end of the second trimester, between 24 and 28 weeks.
- Get screened for immunity to rubella.
Questions to ask your doctor
Your health care provider should be able to answer most of your questions. Here are some common topics that pregnant people may want medical advice about at this stage:
- Color, texture, smell, and amount of vaginal discharge that is considered normal for you
- Expected intensity and frequency of Braxton Hicks contractions
- Normal discomfort vs. worrisome pain
- Frequency and number of baby kicks, plus when to contact your health care team about them
- Recommended dietary choices and activity level for your lifestyle and health situation
Week 24 of your pregnancy involves great transformations and changes. The chance of pregnancy loss has lessened, and you’re more than halfway to meeting your baby.
Seeing your health care provider regularly will give insight on topics like your baby’s kick count and activity, vaginal discharge, abdominal and back pain, and swelling.