You may begin to experience what is known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are due to the uterus tightening from time to time, and may be confused for early labour. However these contractions are irregular and don’t occur in any pattern. You are probably showing quite a lot more, as your uterus has risen to about 5cm above your belly button. Your skin on and around your abdomen and breasts continues to stretch. At this time you should consider getting tested for gestational diabetes, a high-blood-sugar condition that is related to pregnancy.
Your 24 week pregnant symptoms probably sound a little bit like this:
- Swollen ankles and feet If your tootsies are puffy, elevate them while you’re sitting. Getting up and walking often can help too. A little bit of swelling is totally to be expected but swelling in your face, severe swelling in your hands, or uneven (in one leg and not the other) or sudden swelling aren’t run-of-the-mill. In fact, those are signs of preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication, so tell your OB if you are experiencing any swelling that seems out of the ordinary.
- Leg cramps Tight, achy, or “jumpy” legs can be a sign of dehydration. So check that you’re drinking plenty of water. Stretch your legs often, and take lots of walks. Let your doctor know you’re getting leg cramps; they’re probably not an issue, but occasionally cramps can be a sign of another problem, such as a nutritional deficiency, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
- Backaches Yep, you’re still experiencing back pain—and it might even be getting worse. That’s because, as baby gets larger, so does your uterus (of course), and your uterus presses against your spine, making it more curved and strained. Plus, your back muscles have to work harder to carry the extra weight. Tell your doctor about any severe pain (a.k.a. sciatica).
- Linea nigra That’s the dark line that runs up the center of your belly. Influenced by pregnancy hormones, the linea nigra should fade within a few weeks to months after giving birth.
- Stretch marks These tiger stripes may continue to appear as your skin stretches even more. If you’re 24 weeks pregnant with twins, you’re probably more likely to get them.
At 24 weeks pregnant, you’ve probably been feeling baby kicking for at least a few weeks, but now they’re getting stronger and stronger. In fact, your partner or others who touch your belly might start to feel those kicks soon too.
Development of Baby
Your baby is growing steadily. At 24 weeks, baby is the size of a cantaloupe. Your 11.8 inches (30 cm) fetus now weighs about 1.3 pounds (590 grams).
Fetus’ see-through skin is gradually becoming more opaque, and it’s taking on a fresh, pink glow, thanks to the small capillaries that have recently formed.
Taste buds are developing along with the brain, the branches of the lungs and the substance (surfactant) that will help the air sacs inflate once your baby is born.
Recommended 24 weeks pregnant weight gain is about 14 to 16 pounds for moms-to-be of normal weight. If you’ve gained a bit more than that, don’t worry … it’s drastic or sudden weight gain that’s cause for concern … but for the healthiest pregnancy possible, you’ll want to find ways to keep your weight gain under control. It’s recommended that women who are 24 weeks pregnant with twins have gained 24 pounds by now. In fact, if you have, you’ve actually reduced your risk of preterm labor.
Your doctor will order a Glucose Challenge Screening Test, one of the more memorable prenatal tests, to see if you’re at risk for gestational diabetes. The test is designed to see how your body processes sugar, so you’ll be asked to drink a sweet liquid called Glucola and then hang out for an hour. Once the hour is up, you’ll have your blood drawn and then it will be tested to see how your body has processed the sugar.
If your doctor finds abnormal results, you may have to have a follow-up test called the glucose tolerance test. Hunker down in the waiting room for this one. It will measure how your body processes sugar over a three-hour period to see if you really do have gestational diabetes. If you do, your doctor will counsel you on how to keep your condition in check, so the rest of your pregnancy stays healthy. And you and baby might get extra monitoring, meaning, extra ultrasounds. You’ll get to peek at baby more often.
Now is the time to familiarise yourself with the signs of premature labour. Some signs to look out for are:
- more vaginal discharge than normal;
- a change in the type of discharge (leaking watery fluid or the discharge becomes watery, mucus-like, bloody, even if it’s pink or just tinged with blood); – any vaginal bleeding or spotting; – painful uterine contractions that are becoming more regular, closer together and more intense;
- waves of lower back pain. Note that backache is common in pregnancy, but waves of lower back pain may be due to contractions; and
- cramps that feel similar to period pains.
You must report any of these signs to your healthcare practitioner immediately.
Second Trimester (Week 14 – Week 27)