Week 24 of pregnancy

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By week 24 of pregnancy, you will get an idea of what motherhood looks like, the baby is doing just as fine and you are well loaded with responsibilities. You will start noticing some late pregnancy symptoms after week 24 of pregnancy, so embrace yourself to face the next set of complicated symptoms.

What does week 24 of pregnancy look like?

You might feel more tired as it would be difficult for you to get some sound sleep. Make sure you avoid other distraction sources that may worsen your sleeping patterns. 

Sleep position is important during this time as the added weight of belly and body weight can add pressure over other organs. Don’t panic, just flip over one side, rather than sleeping straight. Sleeping on the left is the best and remember to add a pillow between your legs.

You might feel the kicking getting stronger and stronger every other day. The normal pregnancy weight gain until this week is recommended anywhere between 14 and 16 for normal BMI. The weight gain should be in control to make sure you have a healthy pregnancy. 

Fetal development at week 24

Inside your growing belly, the baby is developing itself to birth. The baby is about 12 ½ inches long and weighs about 1 ½ pounds. 

  • The brown fat deposits over the baby. It soothes wrinkles and retains normal temperature.
  • The lung branches are forming, with cells producing surfactant. Surfactant is a chemical required to fill up the tiny air sacs and make sure it is ready to breathe. 
  • The baby’s inner ear is now fully developed.
  • The see-through skin is now becoming opaque. 

What are the symptoms?

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Around week 24, you might feel that you have uncomfortable numbness in your wrists and fingers. The swelling causes the fluids to put pressure over the nerve that runs through the wrist, causing numbness and pain. 

A splint can be added to the hand during sleep and it would provide great relief. It usually resolves post delivery.

Red palms and itching all over the body

These are signs of obstetric cholestasis. It can occur due to genetic factors or increase in the estrogen hormone. A blood test of levels of various liver markers need to be done.

Such patients are at higher risk of excessive bleeding and they need to be checked for their prothrombin time regularly.

Migraines

You can have frequent headaches, triggered by the blurred vision. These headaches can also be triggered by symptoms or even lifestyle. Keep a track of the schedule in your journal and let your healthcare provider know so that he can consult and pinpoint the triggers and better deal with them.

Blurred vision

During this week, you might feel that your vision is getting weak. It is because pregnancy hormones can decrease tear production, causing irritation and dryness in the eyes, altering your vision for a certain period of time till the delivery.

It is also seen in patients with raised blood pressure, so keep a close check on it.

Heartburn

It is a common occurrence during the second and third trimester. The growing baby bumps reduce the empty space in your abdomen. Also, the hormone relaxin slows digestion. 

As a result, which makes more refluxes in the stomach, makes the digestive acid travel upwards through the esophagus, towards the chest, causing heartburn.

week 24 of pregnacy

Self-care tips

Take care of your oral health

Bleeding and swollen gums can cause trouble for you. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once to make sure you have better oral health for the sake of you and your baby.  

Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which is an even more serious oral infection, which may eventually travel from blood to your baby.

Get enough protein

Add protein to your diet as it builds the baby’s face and body. The brain needs protein to build itself. Set a recommended amount of protein in your diet every day and keep a track on your intake 

Avoid heartburn

It is a common occurrence during the second and third trimesters. The growing baby bumps reduce the empty space in your abdomen. Also, the hormone relaxin relaxes the muscles of the intestine that pushes the food forward. 

As a result, which makes more refluxes in the stomach, makes the digestive acid travel upwards through the esophagus, towards the chest, causing heartburn.

Antacids can absorb and make the stomach acid-neutral and ease comfort during pregnancy. You can also prevent it by having smaller meals throughout the day, avoiding greasy or spicy food, and avoiding lying down immediately after a meal.

Related articles: Week 17 of pregnancy | Week 16 of pregnancy

Visit the doctor

  • In the later stages of pregnancy, as the carbohydrate demand of the baby increases, insulin production also increases. The cells producing insulin increase in size and eventually as the weeks pass by, the resistance starts to develop by the body tissues to insulin.

A diabetogenic state is induced when there is a relative or absolute decrease of insulin. Unfortunately, all the hormones produced during pregnancy are anti-insulin. Hence, pregnancy is called a diabetogenic state. The doctor will recommend you take a glucose-screening test this week to check over gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is pregnancy-induced diabetes where the insulin secreted does not match or is in par with the sugar level of the body.

You will be offered a glucose challenge screening. You will be given a glucose syrup and then blood will be drawn. The syrup indicates the glucose level in the blood.

If the results indicate a higher level of glucose, you might have to take up another test, which requires you to do fasting prior to the test, requires you to take more syrup, and more blood is drawn.

Important checklist for week 24 of pregnancy

  • Take the glucose test
  • Switch positions while sleeping
  • Schedule your next prenatal visit
  • Maintain your pregnancy journal
  • Keep a track of the pregnancy symptoms

Bottomline

Week 24 brings in a new set of symptoms and complications as the baby continues to develop. You can seek support from self-help groups or your doctor. 

You might also consider hiring a postpartum doula who can help you deal with infant feeding, recovery from delivery- emotionally and physically, and basic newborn care. 

Reference

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