Fetal development in pregnancy week 24:
Your baby now weighs a little over a pound is about 11 inches long. They fully fill the uterus now, but there is still plenty of room for growth. Over the next three months your baby will have the biggest weight gain.
Brain waves are beginning to activate the auditory and visual systems, causing the baby’s mouth and lips to become sensitive. Eyes will respond to light and the ears are reactive to sounds from outside of the uterus. Your baby may be able to tell when they are upside down now because their inner ear is completely developed. The brain is very active now and is regulating all other body functions.
Toenails and fingernails are growing now and may need trimmed when they are born. Blood vessels in the lungs are developing and will exchange oxygen after birth. The alveoli (the very tiny final branches of the respiratory tree) and air sacs have developed completely.
You may start to get stretch marks now. This is a normal part of pregnancy. Your health practitioner may order a blood test now to check for anemia and infection. You may also have a glucose screen between now and week twenty-eight to help rule out gestational diabetes.
By 24 weeks pregnant you 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 week by week 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.
Mom is now visibly pregnant for most everyone to notice. You may feel a swell of pride when talking about her and the new baby. This is a normal feeling. though some men say it really surprised them.
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Pregnancy Health Tips
Many women consider this time at 24 weeks pregnant their special time. Some women deeply enjoy the second and third trimester. During this time, you basically get your little cherub all to yourself. Once you deliver your baby, you may be surprised at the number of relatives, friends, and well-meaning peers that want to pop by and visit.
Some women lament the loss of the private time they have to share with their baby. Though your husband may occasionally enjoy feeling your baby move, by and large this is the one time you can truly enjoy your little one all to yourself.
There are many people that believe that reading to their baby or playing music to their baby while in utero is beneficial. While there are several studies that both support and refute these notions, the fact of the matter is anything that helps you feel more bonded and loving to your child is worthwhile. If you feel like playing calming music to your baby then do so. Remember that babies can hear in the womb, and you never know your little one might be tapping their hand to the beat of the music just like you.
Many parents also find the second trimester a fun time to start weeding through the hundreds and thousands of baby names out there. For all of you who think selecting a name is easy, think again. One partner will come up with one name and the other will come up with two dozen other. A name that seems good at one point may not seem so good at another. Keep in mind that for most people a name is a very identifying and personable aspect of their identity. If at all possible, consider a name or names that might have some kind of special significance or meaning. When you do so you will have a lovely story to tell your child about their name.
Don’t be surprised if you change your mind in the delivery room. Many parents have picked out a name ahead of time only to find that they change their minds once their baby is born and they get a good look at them. John may suddenly seem like a Joe, or surprise of all surprises, a Joe may actually be a Jane! You simply never know. Selecting a baby name is another one of life’s little pleasures that you can enjoy for the rest of your pregnancy. If you do decide on a name ahead of time you may find comfort calling your precious cherub that name instead of Baby X for the duration of your pregnancy. Have fun with it. Take poll at work. Check out some of the more common baby names… then check out some that are more unusual. Just remember to have fun in the process!
Some practitioners will try to use cervical length to calculate your risk of preterm birth. This is not the standard of care and has “poor predictive value.”