Pregnancy week 24

Ding! Week 24 rings the bell for the glucose tolerance test. Even if you craved for sweets all along, this over dose of sweetness is definitely going to be yucky. But this is what can tell your OB if you are at a risk for gestational diabetes or not.

Last Updated: 22 October 2020

Pregnancy week 24
Pregnancy week 24
What’s happening to your baby?

At week 24 pregnancy, your baby is as big as a papaya. This week, your baby is reaching a critical fetal milestone – the viable pregnancy age. If babies were to be born prematurely after 24 weeks, it is possible for them to survive outside the womb, under neonatal intensive care. It does not mean that they can survive as easily as full-term babies. It would require intense medical intervention to support their lives outside the womb at this age. Yet, if the mother or the fetus face a complication which requires bringing the baby out, 24 weeks is the minimum cutoff time to attempt doing it, which is why 24 weeks is marked as the viable pregnancy age.

Rapid growth, maturation and expansion of your baby’s respiratory system begin now and shall continue until birth. A major development happening at 24 weeks is that your baby’s lungs are beginning to produce surfactant. If you didn’t know earlier, your baby has already started practicing breathing. She is breathing the fluid that fills your amniotic sac. However, soon after she is out of the womb, she will begin to breathe air, taking in oxygen and exhaling out carbon dioxide. An important substance that helps respiration is surfactant, produced by tiny cells in the lungs. The role of surfactant is to reduce the surface tension of the fluids in the lungs, providing expanded space for gas exchange.

What’s happening to your body?

Backache? Check. Stretch marks? Check. Constipation? Check. Ligament pain? Check. Yes dear Momma, 24 weeks pregnancy is not going to uncheck any of your previous symptoms you’ve been plagued by, all along. But let us announce that you may experience a new added one from this week. Bah! Yes, we told you, pregnancy is a roller coaster ride!

Braxton hicks aren’t going to begin the night before labor. Their debut performance can be sometime this week!

From the time you witnessed those two pink lines on the pregnancy test card, you must have been visualizing the climax of your pregnancy - you writhing in labor pain, holding your man’s arms! Ha, all we women do! Well, the rehearsal for your dream climax is now on.

Many women begin to feel light cramps in the abdomen around this time. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions and will continue on and off until labor sets in. You must know that these are not real contractions which lead to labor. Rather, they give your body practice sessions in preparation for labor. The typical signs of Braxton Hicks contractions are:

ü  They aren’t painful

ü  They don’t last for more than 30 seconds

ü  They cease when you move or change your position

What should you do when Braxton Hicks happen?

Actually, nothing! Stay calm and observe it all. If it gets uncomfortable and you want to get rid of them, try to take a stroll or lie down. Unless the contractions last for more than 30 seconds and get stronger with time and occur within close intervals, know that you are not going into labor.

Tips and advice for Pregnancy Week 24 What must you know about Preeclampsia?

You might have heard moms-to-be talk about preeclampsia in pregnancy forums. Or, perhaps your doctor warned you about it sometime. So, what exactly is preeclampsia? Preeclampsia is a disorder that may occur during pregnancy. If left untreated, it can lead to a serious condition called eclampsia.

How will you know if you are affected by it?

·         You are now familiar with swelling of the feet during pregnancy. Yes, it is common in pregnancy. However, be aware that abnormal swelling of face, eyes and hands could be a sign of preeclampsia.

·         Your blood pressure will shoot up. High blood pressure during pregnancy is a classic symptom of preeclampsia.

·         Weight gain is normal during pregnancy. But a sudden weight gain over 1 or 2 days is not normal. Preeclampsia can cause sudden increase in body fluids, and thereby increasing your weight out of the blue.

·         Other symptoms can include blurry vision, pain in the abdomen, headaches and light-headedness.

 

Consult your OB immediately if you observe any of the above symptoms anytime during your pregnancy. 

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