24 Weeks Pregnant: Baby Development, Maternal Changes and More

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

During the 24th week of pregnancy, a lot of changes are noticeable both in the mother and the baby. At this stage, the baby undergoes rapid development and growth. This has a direct effect on the mother as all the growth nutrients are drawn from the mother. This article provides* an overview on the fetal development, maternal changes, signs and symptoms and some interesting facts about the 24th week of pregnancy.

Did you know that male babies elicit erections while in the womb?

Height of the baby: 11.81 inches
Weight of the baby: 600 grams

What Happens to The Baby?

This is the period when a baby undergoes rapid development as the major organs develop. At 24th week of pregnancy, the baby’s mass is mainly composed of fat deposits, bones, muscles and body organs. The baby is one foot long with a lean figure. Body organs like the lungs are still developing but this time, start producing* body cells to create surfactant, a substance that is responsible for inflation of air sacs. The skin is still translucent and thin but is developing very fast. The ears become sharper and the baby is able to hear loud noises. There is hair on the head with both eye lashes and eye brows almost fully formed. The hair however is white because there is no pigment yet.

What Happens to The Mother?

24th Week Pregnancy

Due to rapid development of the baby, the mother will start to feel some physiological changes. Obviously, there will be increase* in weight due to baby’s developing contents and increased in body mass. This and other factors cause a change in the posture of the mother. The uterus has extended by about 2 inches above the belly by this period. Yet, due to fluctuation of hormone level, the mother is likely to experience lack of appetite. This leads to fatigue which may in turn clumsiness. This may also explain why most mothers become unusually forgetful at this stage of pregnancy. Other symptoms that expecting mothers may encounter at 24th week include dryness of the skin, constipation, nasal congestion and excessive sweating.

24 Weeks Pregnant

Tips for Pregnant Mothers at 24th Week

  • Antenatal testing should be carried out on a regular basis for early detection and treatment of birth complications. Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are two common disorders of pregnant mothers.
  • Manage heartburns. This can be done by taking small and frequent meals, not eating spicy, and fatty foods, avoiding tight-fitting clothes and keeping the head up at least 2 hours every after meal.
  • Most pregnant mothers may start experiencing hot flashes at 24th week. Stay indoors whenever you can. When going outdoors, apply sunscreen lotion, use umbrella or hat and stay in the shade. Taking frequent showers also helps in cooling down.
  • Engage in physical activity. Swimming is the most recommended exercise for expecting mothers. Exercise facilitates blood circulation, keeps you fit and promotes* social activity.

Additional Information: Can Pregnant Mothers Bleach Their Teeth?

To bleach or not to bleach teeth during pregnancy is still a moot. There are no conclusive evidences that confirm teeth bleaching during pregnancy can pose risk to the baby, although there isn’t sufficient data to say the procedure is safe, either. The oxidation process caused by bleaching can be harmful to tissues but experts cannot determine if it is teratogenic. Because teeth whitening is not a necessary procedure during pregnancy, dentists advise mothers to wait until they give birth to bleach their teeth (or in some cases, until the breastfeeding stage is done). Nonetheless, if tooth discoloration is observed, consult a dentist since it can be a warning sign of dental problems.

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Author

Expert Author : Peony C Echavez (Consumer Health Digest)

Peony is a registered nurse, and former Director of Nursing services for a large nursing facility. She has written web content for a large health education website, and currently creates content for a number of health practisioners.