Week 24 of Pregnancy
Your Baby in Week 24 of Pregnancy
Your baby is about eight and a half inches long and weighs one and a half pounds, gaining steadily at a rate of six ounces per week. Much of that weight comes from accumulating baby fat, as well as from growing organs, bones, and muscle. Those little ears of hers are getting sharper and can hear very loud sounds, from a yapping dog to a jackhammer. Also by now, that fabulous face is almost fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair. Is your baby a brunette, a blonde, or a redhead? Actually, right now her locks are white since there’s no pigment yet.
Learn more about your body in week 24 and fetal hearing.
Your Body in Week 24 of Pregnancy
If your former innie is now an outie, welcome to the club. Almost every expectant mom’s pregnant belly button pops at some point as her swelling uterus pushes on everything in its path. Things should return to normal after delivery, though your navel (and some other parts of your body) might look a bit, well, stretched. Just think of it as one more badge of honor that only moms get to wear. What other pregnancy woe is pushing your buttons? Well, probably your uncomfortably numb wrists and fingers, thanks to carpal tunnel syndrome. (Don’t worry — the sensations will disappear when you give birth.)
Learn more about your body in week 24 and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Week 24 Pregnancy Tip: Red, Itchy Palms
Sure, you’d heard that pregnancy comes with a variety of symptoms, most of them not very pleasant (actually, none of them very pleasant — unless you count fast-growing hair, nails, and breasts). But maybe you didn’t expect so many seemingly random symptoms — such as the red, itchy palms that have nothing to do with the amount of dishwashing you’re doing. The red may spread, too, to the soles of your feet (though you’re less likely to notice that once your feet become more difficult to see). As with virtually all the stranger symptoms you’ll be experiencing as the months go by (such as the metallic taste in your mouth, skin tags appearing out of nowhere, bigger feet, increased saliva — am I drooling? — and vision changes, to name a few), you can blame your hormones (and throw darts at them, if you like — take that, progesterone!). As for getting the red out, there are no sure solutions — besides delivery. Until then, avoid anything that makes the red redder — such as being overheated, taking long, hot baths or showers, or wearing too-warm or too-tight gloves or socks. You might even try going on a dishwashing strike while you’re expecting (good luck with that plan!). Just tell your spouse it’s doctor’s (and Heidi’s) orders!
Learn more about pregnancy symptoms and solutions.
Week 24 Pregnancy Symptoms
Constipation: There is a good reason for pregnancy constipation — pregnancy hormones cause intestinal muscles to relax in order to keep food in your digestive system longer so you and your baby can absorb more nutrients. But just because it’s for a good cause, that doesn’t make it pleasant. Drink lots of water and fruit and vegetable juices to get things moving faster through your system and to soften your stool, making it easier to pass.
Occasional headaches: If you find that your headaches last for days, are severe, and are sometimes accompanied by nausea or vision changes, you may have migraines. Let your practitioner know about your migraines and keep a journal recording what you ate, where you were, and what you were doing before you experienced a migraine so that you can pinpoint your migraine triggers — and start to avoid them.
Lower abdominal achiness: As your uterus continues to expand, the ligaments that support your uterus continue to stretch — and may cause some pain. Occasional achiness in this area is normal, but if the discomfort is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills, or bleeding, see your practitioner.
Backaches: Back pain is quite common during pregnancy, but if your discomfort is severe, ask your practitioner to refer you to a specialist such as a physical therapist or acupuncturist.
Leg cramps: When leg cramps start to cramp your style, try straightening your leg and gently flexing your ankle and toes up toward your shins several times. This can stop the spasm.
Vision changes: Are your contact lenses bothering you lately — or is your vision sometimes blurry? Pregnancy hormones can decrease tear production (causing eye irritation) and increase fluid buildup in the eye, temporarily altering your vision. This should pass shortly after delivery, so don’t go out and get any new eyeglass or contact-lens prescriptions while you’re expecting.
Mild swelling of ankles and feet: Don’t be alarmed if the swelling in your feet has caused you to “grow” out of your favorite shoes. Simply do what you can to avoid letting body fluids (which increase during pregnancy) pool in your legs — so that means elevating your legs when you’re sitting.