Your pregnancy: 24 weeks

Now your baby can respond to touch and sound as she actively moves about the comfy, snug world of your womb. She hears the sounds and feels the vibrations of your beating heart and your voice, which resonates throughout your body.

Felt burrito used to show how big baby is at 24 weeks
Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt: thefeltstore.com

What’s going on in there: Fetal development at 24 weeks

By 24 weeks pregnant, your baby will be roughly the size of a burrito. Although she is still tiny—about 30 centimetres (12 inches) long and weighing roughly 590 grams (1.3 pounds)—her features are almost fully formed. Your baby now has very fine eyelashes and eyebrows and the start of a head of hair. She can make out all kinds of sounds: your breathing, your voice, the dog barking or loud sounds like car horns. Her capillaries are also starting to form this week, which means that her skin is becoming less translucent and more opaque as blood circulates and adds more of a pinkish undertone to her complexion.

24 weeks pregnant symptoms

Leg cramps
Achy legs are a common symptom at this point in your pregnancy and usually nothing more than a sign of dehydration. Occasionally, though, they can signal another issue, like a nutritional deficiency, so be sure to mention it to your practitioner just to be safe. Meanwhile, make sure that you’re downing lots of water, keep moving and stretch often.

Carpal tunnel syndrome
If you’re experiencing an uncomfortable tingling and/or numbness in your wrists and fingers, it might be carpal tunnel syndrome. Repetitive motions, such as typing, are usually to blame, but carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnant women is often due to an accumulation of fluids in your hands and wrists. When you lie down, this can put pressure on the nerve that runs through your wrist and cause numbness, tingling and mild pain in your wrist, hand and fingers. Prop your hands up on pillows at night, stretch them often during the day (especially if you work at a computer) and don’t fret: Like most annoying pregnancy symptoms, it will fade once your baby arrives. 

What’s on your mind this week

Glucose screening test
At about 24 weeks, your practitioner may start discussing a screening test for gestational diabetes. It’s not mandatory, but many moms-to-be will take it as a precaution. Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman’s pancreas isn’t able to produce the extra insulin needed to keep blood glucose levels in check during pregnancy, increasing the risk of preterm labour and conditions like pre-eclampsia, as well as the odds of having a very large baby (which may require intervention, like a C-section). The aim of the test is to measure how your body processes sugar, so you’ll be asked to drink a super-sweet liquid that they provide, wait around for about an hour and have your blood drawn and screened. If the results are abnormal, more testing will be ordered to determine if you have gestational diabetes (which can then be managed to ensure that you continue to have a healthy pregnancy). Many moms consider chugging the gross orange drink a pregnancy milestone of sorts, so just think of it as an opportunity for a fun Facebook pic from the waiting room.

Pregnant woman with a bicyclePregnant in the summer? You're at greater risk for gestational diabetes

Should I get an epidural?
You’re probably thinking more and more about what kind of birth you want to have, and at the top of the list is whether or not to have an epidural. Even if you don’t have an opinion yet, lots of people will offer theirs unsolicited (and overshare some of their own TMI labour details!). Knowing the facts about epidurals will help you make an informed decision quickly when you go into labour

Just for kicks

Pregnancy—and new parenthood—is a prime time for marketers to tell you that you absolutely must have this great new product or invention. And some of those pregnancy products are pretty weird…

Baby names

Here’s our ultimate list of the most recent and most popular Canadian baby names, broken down by province.

Pregnancy to-do list: 24 weeks

Read some birth stories
If you’re the kind of person who likes to be prepared for all scenarios, childbirth can be a tricky one. It’s a test you can’t exactly study for. You can diligently attend prenatal classes, research away and read every labour book out there, but you may feel most reassured by reading about other women’s experiences. (Bonus: They’re usually less graphic than the crotch-shot videos in your prenatal class.) From planned C-sections and drug-free VBAC births (that acronym stands for “vaginal birth after C-section,” by the way) to ridiculously fast “precipitous” births to midwife-attended births with unexpected emergency interventions, everyone has a very different experience.

Read more:
Birth story: This baby is on her own schedule
8 epidural myths that way too many women believe
Next up: 25 weeks pregnant

 

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