24 Weeks Pregnant
What’s happening this week? How is my baby developing?
You’re 24 weeks pregnant, and your baby is getting more proportional.
This week, his organs are maturing in preparation for life outside the womb, including digestive, reproductive and circulatory system. Your baby’s lungs undergo a massive development, starting to develop little branches.
Soon, they will be producing surfactant, which prevents the lungs from sticking. The process of ossification also continues this week, turning cartilage into bone.
Layers of fat are being deposited underneath the skin, and new cells from the deepest part of the skin move towards the surface, and once these cells die, they’re replaced with new cells.
It’s a cyclic process called keratinisation and it will happen constantly during his life time.
Also, at 24 weeks pregnant, more amniotic fluid is produced, which will reach about 2 pints by the time your baby is born. At 24 weeks pregnancy, your baby weights 700 grams and measures 30 cm to from head to toe.
How is my body changing?
At 24 weeks pregnant your uterus is rising to about 5 cm above your navel. You’re really feeling your baby kick now, and you may be able to differentiate when your baby is awake or asleep based on the movements you feel.
Your uterus is gradually getting a bit cramped for your baby, and from now on, you’ll feel more stretching movements rather than kicking.
Your doctor may suggest that you check your baby’s movements every day, by monitoring how long it takes for you to feel your baby 10 times. It shouldn’t take more than 2 hours.
Importantly, if you stop feeling your baby contact your doctor immediately. As your baby grows, you may also notice an increase in your appetite, but remember you only need 300-500 extra calories.
Other symptoms include forgetfulness, nasal blockage and snoring.
Is it preparation contractions or is this the real thing?
Braxton-Hicks contractions are a consequence of your uterine muscles contracting periodically preparing the cervix for labour.
These contractions usually only last 30 seconds, occur at random intervals and are painless. If this is your first baby, you may be wondering how to differentiate them from the real contractions at labour.
True contractions will increase in frequency and get very painful as labour progresses. So, if you’re just experiencing a few contractions that don’t get more frequent over time, don’t worry, you’re not going into labour.
Try changing position or drinking a glass of water. However, if you experience contractions that get gradually worse, are longer than 60 seconds or and occur regularly, maybe it’s time to head for the hospital.