At 24 weeks pregnant, you’re getting close to the end of the second trimester. Enjoy these next few weeks while you can.
The third trimester has a reputation for being more difficult than the second! You may want to take advantage of the energy you have now to complete certain tasks like assembling the nursery. Even if you don’t feel like you have a lot of energy now, you most likely have more than you will in the coming weeks!
While you’ve got a sizeable baby bump at this point, it’s not yet nearly as cumbersome as it will be soon, so live it up while you can! And don’t forget to get all the information you need about what to expect from week 24 pregnancy!
24 weeks pregnant: Baby’s forming memories
As amazing as it sounds, by pregnancy week 24, your baby’s brain cells have developed enough that he has begun to have conscious thoughts, and possibly even memories! As an adult, he probably won’t be able to tell you what songs you listened to while you were pregnant with him, but when he’s born he will be able to recognize some of the sounds that he has been hearing from the womb.
He’s also developing a lot in many other ways:
- He’s about 8.5 inches long and weighs 1.5 pounds (gaining about 6 ounces per week)
- He’ll start putting on modest amounts of fat
- His unique facial features are taking shape
- His eyelashes and eyebrows are white for now because they haven’t acquired pigmentation yet
- He can start deciding his favourite foods because his taste buds are developing
- His lungs and respiratory system keep maturing too
24 weeks pregnant: I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…
What’s that tingling sensation in your fingers and toes that you’re getting recently, especially while lying down? Unfortunately, it could be carpal tunnel syndrome, caused when your uterus puts pressure on different arteries. Since by 24 weeks pregnant your uterus has grown to the size of a soccer ball and has risen above the belly button, it’s no wonder that your body is having some funny reactions!
Don’t worry, the carpal tunnel syndrome will disappear after you give birth. You can also help reduce the problem by sleeping and lying on your left side for the rest of your pregnancy, as this is the optimal position for assuring that your blood is flowing properly.
Here are some other symptoms you are possibly having at 24 weeks pregnant:
- Belly button popping out
- Red, itchy palms
- Abdominal pain
- Leg cramps
- Blurred vision
- Swollen feet and ankles
24 weeks pregnant: The Glucose Test
You won’t have any scheduled antenatal visits at 24 weeks pregnant, unless your doctor has scheduled your glucose test during this week. The glucose test is a kind of blood test that can be given any time between 24 weeks pregnant and 28 weeks pregnant. It measures the amount of glucose in your blood to check for the possibility of having gestational diabetes.
It is very important to check for gestational diabetes because being unaware of this condition and leaving it untreated can have dangerous consequences for you and your baby. One common side effect of gestational diabetes is the baby growing much larger than normal, which can lead to a high risk delivery.
When you take the test, you will be given a sugary solution, which you will need to drink within 5 minutes. (It comes in different flavours like cherry, orange, and cola, but many women find them equally disgusting!) You’ll have to wait an hour, and then they will draw some blood. The blood sample will be analysed to test your body’s ability to process sugar. If the results come back too high, you’ll need to come in later for a 3 hour test!
No matter how well you’ve been taking care of yourself and your growing baby, there is always the possibility (even if it’s tiny) of something going wrong. While premature labour only happens to about 2% of women who have healthy pregnancies, it is still very important to recognize the possible signs. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
A visible increase in vaginal discharge
A change in the colour or texture of your discharge
Any spotting or vaginal bleeding
Any cramping that feels like menstrual pain, or more than 4 contractions within 60 minutes (Remember that some contractions later in pregnancy are normal.)
A strong pressure in your pelvic area
More than your normal amount of back pain
Any feeling that something may be wrong—trust your intuition!
24 weeks pregnant is a stage of your pregnancy when you may feel pulled in different directions. Should you stop and rest, or should you keep going full steam ahead? As with everything, it will require balance. You have a long list of things you need to get done before your little one arrives, but don’t forget to take care of yourself and give yourself the rest and relaxation that you need and deserve!