24 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hi there, pregnant mommies and daddies-to-be, and welcome to your 24th week of pregnancy! You’re six months into your pregnancy — where did all the time go? This week, I was fortunate enough to take the kids to visit some friends for a few days. Have you planned a pre-baby vacation, or babymoon, yet? Now is a great time to get out and about since your belly has not yet grown too big (which can make travel uncomfortable). Also this week, I had my week 24 ultrasound and got a glimpse of my baby’s little feet, hands and face. I’m really excited to guide you through the 24th week of pregnancy, so let’s get to it!
24 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
24 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica during Pregnancy
In addition to the chronic stiffness I’ve been experiencing in my hips, I’ve also started getting pain in my buttocks and lower back. The pain does not present itself too much while I’m moving around and exercising. But I have a lot of pain while sitting down. After I get up, I hobble around for a while until the pain gradually recedes. I went to an orthopedist last week to be examined. He advised that the pain may be related to the pregnancy hormone, relaxin, which is impacting a muscle in the buttocks called the piriformis. Runners and pregnant women commonly suffer from a cramping of this piriformis muscle (in addition to sciatica) — see, I told you pregnancy can be a marathon! There are many good video tutorials out there about how to stretch and strengthen the piriformis. These tutorials tend to advise gentle stretching and a massage of the muscle by doing a figure 4 stretch and moving around on top of a tennis ball, so I’m trying to do this whenever I can. Cross your fingers for me — I’m hoping this pain will go away soon!
Migraines During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, some women encounter more frequent migraines, while other women experience fewer. I’ve been lucky to avoid these beastly headaches during my pregnancy so far. I don’t usually get migraines, so that is likely why. I have learned through research that applying a cold compress for 20 minutes to your neck while you lay with your eyes closed in a dark, quiet space is a great way to reduce the severity of a pregnancy migraine. Talk with a doctor if you have persistent pregnancy migraines, especially before you self-medicate, since you want to make sure that any medication you take is pregnancy-safe.
Red, Itchy Palms During Pregnancy
At around 24 weeks of pregnancy, many women’s hands will look as if they need a break from washing dishes. Thirty-three to 66% of women will experience red, itchy palms — medically referred to as palmar erythema — during pregnancy. This results from increased blood flow. To combat this condition, try a pregnancy-safe moisturizer.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 24 Weeks
At week 24, your baby weighs 1.3 pounds and is 11.5 inches long, about the size of a cantaloupe. Smart baby alert! By week 24, your baby’s brain activity has matured to the level it will maintain until birth. What exactly does this mean? Well, by now your baby likely has developed the capacity for memory and conscious thought. Long term memories can’t be formed until around age three, though, so your child won’t remember their time within the womb.
As you begin to approach the third trimester, most of your baby’s major organs and organ systems are nearing completion. Your baby is spending their time practicing their reflexes and growing. Beginning at this point, you can expect your baby to gain approximately six ounces each week. Wowza! Meanwhile, you’ve gained only 50% of your total pregnancy weight gain by week 24. With 16 weeks to go, both you and your baby still have a substantial amount of growth ahead.
This week your baby’s nostrils open for the first time. This means your little one can begin practicing breathing. But instead of air, your baby will breathe amniotic fluid. Have no fears, as oxygen is provided to your baby through the umbilical cord. Keep breathing, mama!
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
You gain an extra 1.5 feet of skin during pregnancy!
My Pregnant Belly Progression
Check out my 6 months pregnant belly! Getting there!
Gestational diabetes (GD) is diabetes that is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy, and occurs when your body is unable to process the larger amounts of sugar in your blood that come with pregnancy. Gestational diabetes typically goes away after labor. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause a host of problems for the mother and baby. Women with GD are more likely to develop preeclampsia and type 2 diabetes after pregnancy, and they are at higher risk of experiencing complications at birth, since GD results in a larger baby. If you develop GD, your baby also is at risk of developing certain conditions and problems. Remember, though, that this is largely preventable! Following the steps below early in your pregnancy along with entering pregnancy at a healthy weight will decrease your risk of gestational diabetes!
Your Pregnancy at 24 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
At 24 weeks of pregnancy, the following prenatal tests are available:
Both the Glucose Challenge and Glucose Tolerance Tests are used to help screen and detect gestational diabetes by measuring the amount of sugar in your blood. These two sugar pregnancy tests are typically conducted between Weeks 24 and 28.
Glucose Challenge Test
This initial glucose screening test lasts approximately one hour. A blood sample will be taken and then you will be given a sugary beverage to drink (I have always found this very difficult to drink!). After an hour, your blood will be sampled again. If the results are abnormal, you will be advised to take the glucose tolerance test.
Glucose Tolerance Test
This test is quite similar to the glucose challenge test, but lasts for a longer period of time (~3 hours). You may be asked to not have anything to eat the day of the test. Once again, a blood sample will be taken, followed by your consumption of a sugary drink. Over a period of several hours, your blood sugar will be monitored through periodic blood testing.
Your 24 Week Ultrasound Appointment
Your doctor will assess your baby’s growth and development during the 24 week ultrasound. They will once again measure the levels of amniotic fluid, evaluate your baby’s heartbeat, and look at your baby’s muscles, organs and rate of activity.
My Week 24 Ultrasound
I’ve put up some images from my week 24 ultrasound in the video for this week. I found the exam to be very thorough, and delighted at seeing the images of my baby’s brain, spine, head, feet and hands. I even caught a glimpse of a little face that looked very cute with a bit of a pug nose (hmm!).
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
Quick, Healthy Snack Tip
Chia Seed Pudding: Combine 2 cups of almond milk, ⅔ cup of chia seeds, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, 3 tablespoons of organic maple syrup, and ½ cup of raisins (optional) in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy a healthy breakfast! (MamaNatural)
Why Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are black seeds that come from the plant, Salvia hispanica. These little seeds are related to mint and come stuffed full of fiber, Vitamin B, calcium, and other minerals. When soaked in liquid, they puff up, forming a consistency similar to that of pudding or yogurt. Quite the healthy alternative!
How Many Months Is 24 Weeks?
If you’re 24 weeks pregnant, consider yourself to be in your 6th month of pregnancy.
Week 24 Pregnancy Checklist
- Schedule your week 28 and week 30) prenatal appointments
- Opt for a shower (over a bath) to reduce dry, itchy skin
- Be aware of the signs of preterm labor
- Write in your pregnancy journal
- Get some exercise!
- Research and consider glucose screening to test for gestational diabetes
- Research strollers
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists