Your pregnancy at week 24

Welcome to your week 24 pregnancy update where we outline the changes you and your baby are experiencing.

Your Baby

At week 24 your baby will now weigh around half a kilo and around 30cm from head to toe, baby is receiving oxygen through the placenta and her lungs are maturing to start producing a substance called surfactant, which keep the lung sacs from collapsing in on each other. In fact, baby is now looking and behaving much the same way now as she will when she is born. Her well-developed skeletal system is making bone marrow and she’s capable of producing her own white blood cells to fight off infections.

Baby’s pattern of sleeping and waking will start to establish itself, and you may notice her moving and squiggling around particularly when you are trying to sleep.

Baby’s face is almost fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows, hair and even red lips.

Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby’s development and progress.

The Mum Update

Are you comfortable? With the weight of your burgeoning belly to consider, finding a comfortable sleeping spot can be tricky. Research shows that sleeping on your back while pregnant can reduce the blood flow to your placenta so try to sleep on your side, preferably the left side as it helps the flow of blood to the placenta and helps your kidneys process waste products and fluids (and hopefully help reduce any swelling in your hands and feet).

Putting a pillow between your knees/thighs can help get you more balanced and comfortable and some women like to put a pillow behind them to stop rolling on to their back during the night.If you wake up to find yourself on your back don’t worry – just rearrange yourself on your left side and drift off again.

Do you sometimes have a feeling that your heart is ‘racing’ or beating strongly and rapidly in your chest ? This is heart palpitations and they are common during pregnancy because of your increased blood volume . They usually subside on their own after a few minutes or less. Occasionally palpitations can indicate a heart condition. If you are concerned that they are not going away and you are feeling unwell, contact your LMC.

Itching is a common symptom during pregnancy. There are no bumps or lesions on the skin; it just itches. Nearly 20% of all pregnant women suffer from itching, often in the last weeks of pregnancy, but it can occur at any time. As your uterus has grown and filled your pelvis, your abdominal skin and muscles have stretched. Itchiness is a natural consequence. If it’s driving you crazy have a chat to your LMC.

Stretch marks occur when the elastin in your skin can’t stretch fast enough, resulting in damage to the collagen below. A clear, red or even pocked skin will result – and last throughout your lifetime. If you are going to get stretch marks is a bit of a lottery. Your genetic predisposition,  weight gain and the size of your growing belly are all significant factors however some women swear by a variety of moisturising creams, hydration and exercise.

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