By this week of pregnancy week 24, the growth of the baby is rapid. The weight of the bay is more than one pound and is around 8.5 inches long. The organ systems continue to develop further. The lungs of the bay also start to create small branches that will provide the baby with surfactant which is necessary for the respiratory function of the baby. The eyes of the baby are still closed and eyebrows and eyelashes are very distinct. Increase in baby’s pulse rate shows that the bay is reacting to loud sounds. The lungs of the baby continue to develop and form more air sacs. If the baby is a girl, her ovaries will contain several millions of egg whereas in boys the scrotum is well developed. The baby has fully developed ears, fingernails, and testicles. The eye moves rapidly. As the week goes by the space becomes tighter. The baby’s skin is also wrinkled and the organs of the baby continue to mature.
The mother’s body also starts producing more of amniotic fluid which continues till delivery. The baby’s fetal blood cells, vernix, lanugo and the baby’s urine make up a portion of the amniotic fluid which surrounds the baby. The baby swallows much of the amniotic fluid and also excretes it. The amniotic fluid has many important functions like providing an environment for the baby in whom it moves, it cushions the fetus against any injury, regulating the temperature for the baby and also assesses the health and maturity of the baby. The amniotic fluid increases rapidly. The uterus continues to expand and rises 2 inches above the navel. By pregnancy week 24 the womb also becomes a bit cramped. The baby kicks and is felt strongly by the mother. The uterus continues to grow and now the baby has less room to move about. Hence the kicks could be felt strongly.
Most women might experience nasal stuffiness and frequent nose bleeds during pregnancy week 24. This is due to the hormonal changes that the body goes through. To prevent this it is good to use a humidifier and increase in fluid intake. Heartburn is quite common during this week of pregnancy. This is because the uterus grows and places heavy force on the digestive organs.
It is also common to feel hungry quite often than before from during pregnancy week 24. Every intake of food should be healthy. Snacks should be selected from plain yoghurt, cheese, fruits, vegetables and boiled eggs. As the weeks pass by more difficulty could be felt to sleep during the night due to anxiety, heartburn, frequent urination, leg cramps, and general discomfort. Hence adequate rest should be taken for the baby’s health. A warm bath, relaxing music and a cu of herbal tea might help relieve from these symptoms. Over eating and eating before going to bed at night are the major causes of heartburn. Hence, five or six small nutritious meals should be taken during the day instead of three large ones. Vaginal discharge should also be watched regularly and any changes identified should be reported to the doctor.
Swollen ankles are common during pregnancy week 24 which is due to standing continuously and the excess fluid does not circulate. Hence women suffering from swollen ankles should take time to sit with the feet propped up to help circulation. Support stockings could be worn to avoid swelling. Women should also keep drinking lots of water as the fluid will flush other fluids from the system.