When you are 24 weeks pregnant, you are near the end of your second trimester, so try to enjoy this period while it lasts because the next 3 months that will come won`t mean anything else than gaining weight which won`t only cause you discomfort, but will also make you lose some of your mobility.
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24 Week Fetus
When you are 24 weeks pregnant or at 22 weeks from conception, the baby stays awake and sleeps regularly. His brain is now developing rapidly and he`ll start having real hair on his head. In the interior of his lungs there`ll be branches of the respiratory tree as well as specialized cells which secret surfactant, a substance that will maintain open the bags full of air after the baby`s birth when he`ll start breathing air. The baby`s skin is still thin and transparent, but this aspect will soon change.
The baby is now well proportioned and fills the space from the uterus. During the last week he gained around 120g, so at the end of this week he`ll weigh around 630g and will measure around 30cm in length.
While circulation increases, there`ll be an increased blood flow at the mucosal level that will determine as the nose`s mucosa to congest, which will limit the air quantity that is inhaled and will lead to snoring, nose obstruction and nose bleeds (epistaxis). Also, the gums swell which can lead to a minor bleeding when you brush your teeth. Choose a softer toothbrush to decrease gingival irritation.
The eyes might be more sensitive and drier now. You can reduce discomfort if you`ll start using artificial tears.
24 Weeks Pregnant: What to Do this Week?
Between 24 and 28 weeks, lots of women will do a test to detect gestational diabetes, a temporary condition that only appears during pregnancy, in which your body produces an adequate amount of insulin, such that the level of glucose in the blood is increased.
During pregnancy, the hormones secreted by the placenta block the action of insulin secreted by the mother in her body. This problem is known as insulin resistance and makes it hard for the mother`s organism to use insulin.
In these conditions, the need for insulin can increase up to 3 times more than normal. For a lot of pregnant women this won`t be an issue because their pancreas will compensate and will secrete more insulin. In some cases, however, this doesn`t happen. Without insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood to be transformed in cells of energy and will accumulate in the blood until large levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia, and the result will be gestational diabetes.
If it`s not diagnosed and treated with care, gestational diabetes will affect the baby and could cause complications with the pregnancy, at birth and immediately after birth, even on long term in childhood or later.
The test for gestational diabetes is known as the oral glucose tolerance test and is performed by the doctor. It involves multiple blood samples taken from time to time to check blood glucose after drinking a sugary drink.
Advices for an Easier Pregnancy
If you have any issues with heartburn, it will be helpful to eat smaller quantities of food at each meal. The digestive discomfort relieves for lots of women if they eat 5 – 6 small meals during the day. Also, try not to eat for 2 hours before going to sleep.
During the second trimester, muscle cramps can become quite upsetting while the pregnancy evolves and the uterus increases, compressing blood vessels that allow for the blood to return to the inferior members towards the heart and nerves which supply the legs. Although they also appear during the day, you`ll notice that they are more frequent during the night.
The following advices might prevent muscle cramps to appear:
- Avoid standing or sitting with your legs crossed for a long period of time.
- Do stretching exercises regularly for the muscles around your calf during the day and a few times before going to bed during the evening.
- Rotate the ankle and move your toes when you are sitting, eating or watching TV.
- If you have your obstetrician`s permission, walk at least once a day.
- Avoid becoming too tired. Rest lying on your left side to improve your blood circulation in your legs.
- Do a warm bath before going to sleep to relax your muscles.
- Take supplements with magnesium. Although there are a few clinical studies related to this aspect, it seems that supplements with magnesium could prevent muscle cramps during pregnancy. However, you should still have your doctor`s permission. Also, you could consume foods rich in magnesium, such as whole grains, beans, dried fruits, nuts or seeds.
- Hydrate yourself! If your urine is dark in color, this could mean you`re dehydrated.
- Choose adequate footwear! When you buy shoes, take into account their comfort, support and utility. A shoe that will completely support your heel can help a lot.
If you experience muscle cramps, stretch the muscles around your calf on the affected side. It may hurt a bit at first, but these movements will ease spasm and the pain will fade little by little. Also, a hot bath and a massage with ice might help. Walking and then keeping your legs lifted might help in preventing cramps.
If the muscle pain is constant, not only on occasion, or if you notice your calf that has increased in size and is sensitive, call your obstetrician immediately. These can be signs of blood clots and might need immediate examination. Venous thrombosis is rare, but a pregnancy increases the chances for this affection to appear.
It`s Safe to Go to a Rock Concert during Pregnancy?
If this means you go to a rock concert occasionally, then perhaps this isn`t very dangerous for your baby`s hearing, but it`s still not recommended.
Starting with the 22nd week of pregnancy, the cochlea (the internal part of the ear which has an important role in hearing) is completely formed. This way, the baby will hear what are able to hear, but not at the same level – the sounds and voices are much more attenuated. The baby`s hearing is well protected by the muscles and tissues from the abdomen`s level, the placenta and amniotic liquid. But every child is different and it`s not exactly known which is the level of noise that can be harmful, so it`s better not to risk it.
There is a study which has shown that pregnant women that worked 8 hours per day in a noisy environment, which required sound insulation, have a higher risk to give birth to children with hearing problems. Another study has tried to answer to the following question: The amniotic liquid attenuates or amplifies sounds? It seems that low sounds (such as those produced by a bass) are a bit amplified by the amniotic liquid, but as the sounds become sharper, they are attenuated by the amniotic liquid. Also, this study has shown that the mother`s voice is amplified with 5 decibels, but other voices are diminished.
Being 24 weeks pregnant is a wonderful period of time where your body experiences lots of new and interesting little changes. Try to enjoy this period as much as you can – you`ll soon be 25 weeks pregnant.