Your Pregnancy Week 24

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Learn about your symptoms and changes during the 24th week of pregnancy.

Your Baby

By pregnancy week 24 your tiny baby is growing rapidly, weighing in at more than 1.3 pounds and measuring at nearly 11.8 inches long!

Changes in Your Growing Baby

Your baby's organ systems continue their journey toward maturation. Your baby is focusing her efforts on her central nervous system, digestive, reproductive and even her circulatory systems.
Your body starts producing more amniotic fluid as well. This process continues until delivery. By the time you deliver your baby your uterus will contain up to 2 pints of fluid to protect and cushion your baby. Did you know that amniotic fluid actually changes throughout your pregnancy? During the first part of your pregnancy the amniotic fluid consists of fluid very similar to plasma. Later in your pregnancy however your baby's fetal blood cells, vernix, lanugo and even your baby's urine make up a good portion of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby.
Your baby actually swallows much of the amniotic fluid during pregnancy, and of course goes on to excrete this. If your baby does not do this you could develop a condition called oligohydramnios. This however is a pretty rare condition affecting roughly 8 percent of all pregnancies. Most of the time this isn't a problem until after the third trimester if it is occurring, and fortunately your healthcare provider can monitor the condition.

Other reasons a woman might develop oligohydramnios may include ruptured membranes or birth defects. Even in this case your healthcare provider will be armed with multiple treatment choices for you and your baby. While you can't necessarily prevent the condition if diagnosed early there is a strong chance your baby will be just fine.

Your Body's Development

During 24 weeks pregnant your uterus continues to expand, rising to roughly 2 inches above your navel. You may be startled to find people want to start touching or rubbing your belly, whether for good luck or to feel the baby. Many people do this without warning. In fact, some may neglect to say hi to you and come right up and address your belly!

If this bothers you keep in mind that it is your belly and your baby. Don't be afraid to tell them you are sensitive or better tell them you are ticklish. You could always put your hand on your tummy preventing them from doing the same. Just keep in mind most people mean no harm and simply feel joy at the notion of a newborn baby coming into the world.

Changes in Your Body

Your womb is becoming a bit cramped. You should still feel your baby kicking strongly but your baby probably isn't swimming about your uterus quite as freely as before. Most of your baby's movements from here on out will likely feel a bit more rhythmic which is quite normal.

Gradually in the upcoming weeks of your pregnancy you should be able to determine when your baby is sleeping or awake based on her kicking patterns. Most babies go through rhythmic periods where they kick more so than normal then rest for periods.

As your pregnancy progresses and you enter your third trimester your doctor may suggest you count your babies kicking patterns at least once during the day. Usually you should count until you feel ten movements, which should occur within a two-hour time frame. This can help ensure that your baby is thriving inside your womb.

Video: What to Expect from the 24th Week of Pregnancy



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