The 24th week of pregnancy

Another month has passed: by the 24th week of pregnancy you have reached the end of the sixth month of your pregnancy. The birth is only about 16 weeks away.

Pregnant mum playing with her toddler

What to expect at 24 weeks of pregnancy

The circulating hormone progesterone may cause slower gastrointestinal movements (digestive system) in mid to late pregnancy. Leading to your food taking longer to move through the gut to the bowel, which may lead to constipation1. For other women during pregnancy, they may find that they digest food better. Sadly this may mean more gas is produced as the food is digested and you may feel bloated or uncomfortable after meals. Certain foods are known to give you more gas, e.g. cabbage or beans, but these can also be the results of the hormones on your gut too. It is important not to avoid foods that are rich in nutrients and minerals to minimise the discomfort of gas. Eating a range of high fibre and mineral rich foods is recommended, to keep your digestive system healthy.

  • Your growing abdomen and breasts may start to result in some aches and discomfort, especially lower back and pelvis. Talk with your midwife / doctor if you are in pain. A supportive belly band can help and support your back muscles to relieve your backache. If you haven’t already, consider purchasing a comfortable pregnancy / sleep bra to provide support for those growing breasts.
  • As your pregnancy advances you may notice more stretch marks, on your bump and breasts. These occur when there is rapid stretching of the skin, leaving fine blue-red stripes on the skin surface. Overtime, after birth, the blue-red stripes will become paler and less noticeable.

Top tips to help you adjust to your growing bump and breasts:

  • Continue to wear your seatbelt in the car. Talk with your midwife / doctor how to wear your seatbelt safely and comfortably in your vehicle.
  • Wear a comfortable supportive bra that is the right size
  • Talk with your midwife if you are experiencing back or pelvic discomfort.

What happens to your baby in the 24th week of gestation

During the 24th week, your baby takes up the space of a cauliflower in your belly. Your baby is now around 30 cm in length and weighs about 700 grams*.

Your baby's development

Your baby now has short periods of wakefulness and sleep2. When awake you will feel your baby more active, stretching and kicking. You can already guess: your awake-sleep rhythm and your baby's rhythm don't necessarily coincide. Often night time is the period they are more active when you are relaxed and sleeping.

Talk with your midwife, how to track your baby’s daily movements as you move into your third trimester.

*Note: The data on length and weight are average values that cannot be applied to individual cases. Every baby develops individually.

References

1 Jewell D, Young G. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2001.

2 Okai T, Kozuma S, Shinozuka N, Kuwabara Y, Mizuno M.; 1992. Okai T, Kozuma S, Shinozuka N, Kuwabara Y, Mizuno M. A study on the development of sleep-wakefulness cycle in the human fetus. Early Hum Dev. 1992 Jun-Jul;29(1-3):391-6. doi: 10.1016/0378-3782(92)90198-p. PMID: 1396274. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1396274/