24 Weeks Pregnant

image001As you cross 23 weeks of pregnancy and enter the 24th week, you will be a step closer to the third semester, but it is important that you get the usual antenatal testing to avoid any sort of complications during birth. It is common for women to suffer from gestational diabetes at this point and therefore, you will have to go through a glucose test. As about 2-5% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, the screening happens around the 24th to 28th week to be assured that the mom and the baby are both safe.

24 Weeks Pregnant-- What Are the Pregnancy Symptoms?

Many women notice that they develop a few stretch marks on the stomach, breasts, bottoms and hips regions. You can use some creams to get comfortable and reduce the itching in those areas, but it won’t help you get rid of the stretch marks. However, you don’t need to worry about it as they will fade away once you give birth. You may also experience a symptom known as the dry-eye syndrome when your eyes are dry and light-sensitive, but that’s normal too. If it’s bothering you too much, visit an optometrist to make sure that eyes haven’t developed any infection.

24 Weeks Pregnant-- How Does Your Baby Grow?

At this point, you probably don’t have a clue if your baby is upside down or right side up. As the development continues, it enhances the baby’s sense of movement and position. The baby receives the oxygen through placenta. However, that won’t continue forever. Your little one is growing every week and would have probably gained around 4 ounces since the previous week. That makes him about the size of corn’s ear and can weigh about 1 1/3 pounds but he will put on more weight proportionally very soon. Along with the other organs, his brain and taste buds are developing too. His lungs are now developing branches to complete the respiratory tree with cells to produce surfactant that helps his air sacs to inflate once he is born. Though his skin is translucent now, that will change quickly.

Please see this video and get more information about the fetal development at 24 weeks:

24 Weeks Pregnant-- How Does Your Life Change?

Some women start experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions at 24 weeks and this occurs as the uterus tightens regularly. Your belly probably looks bigger as the uterus rises above the belly button by 2 inches. You might feel itchy and dry as the skin stretches continuously. If you experience blurred vision or dry eyes, consult a doctor and use artificial drops available over-the-counter. The ligaments grow bigger along with the uterus and some women undergo ligament pain. Some women may also suffer from nasal congestion and cold as the mucous membranes swell at this point but you can use saline drops to gain relief, if they are recommended by your physician.

What Can You Plan for This Week?

As gestational diabetes occurs commonly among pregnant women (2-5%) during their 24-28th week, make sure you take glucose screening test. As the body doesn’t produce sufficient amount of insulin that can deal with the sugar accumulated during pregnancy, many women suffer from this type of diabetes though it is temporary in most of the cases. The placenta produces many hormones that resist insulin.

Symptoms are:

  • Sugar in the urine that is revealed in a test
  • Abnormal thirst
  • Urinating frequently
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

What About Diet When 24 Weeks Pregnant?

1. The Importance of Vitamin A

Both the baby and mother need Vitamin A throughout pregnancy as it is essential for cell growth, night vision, production of red blood cells and healthy skin. Vitamin A is available in our food as beta carotene and retinol and both these forms are important for the mother and baby’s growth.

Substances like egg yolk, margarine, butter and milk are good to be consumed during pregnancy as they contain retinol but stay away from liver products as they contain retinol in high amounts.

For beta-carotene, you can consume carrots, sweet potatoes, papaya, oranges and green vegetables.

2. The Importance of Cholesterol

You need cholesterol to maintain a healthy placenta and experts say that cholesterol in low amounts may induce premature labor, resulting in a baby with low weight at birth. A blood test during this stage of pregnancy can show that the levels of cholesterol are higher than the required amount, but there is nothing to worry as cholesterol is required to produce hormones and a slight increase is normal. Don’t try to make any changes in the cholesterol levels using medicines or eating food to reduce it, unless recommended by the doctor.

3. Snacks and Drinks

Consume healthy food like beetroot, carrot, fig, apricots and watermelons. In addition, snacks like steamed sprout salad, curd rice, soya granules and stuffed millet can help you reduce constipation.

4. Constipation Relief

During pregnancy, some women might suffer from constipation. To gain relief from constipation, you can consume foods that are high in fiber like oats, cracked wheat, wholegrain bread, wheat, dried nuts, fruits and fresh vegetables. It is also essential to drink lots of water along with the food you consume. However, fiber absorbs a lot of water and it can make your constipation worse as you don’t have enough water in your system. Some women consume figs and psyllium seeds to gain relief from constipation.

What to Do to Keep a Healthy Pregnancy at 24 Weeks

1. Join a Prenatal Class

It might be a great idea to join a yoga or prenatal Lamaze class if you haven’t done it already. You can enquire about it from your midwife or health care provider if they are held in the hospital.

2. Organize Your Home Improvement Projects

Prepare yourself for the little by organizing all you activities. Discuss about home improvement stuff that need to be fixed with your partner before your baby arrives. However, let your partner manage those projects as it isn’t recommended that you climb ladders or get exposed to chemicals. Make sure you install fire extinguishers and check the smoke detectors to see if they are functioning properly. Also remove broken fixtures and paint the nursery.

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