Pregnancy Week 2479 Comments
Week 24 fetal development image showing the fetal growth of your baby to date.
The baby is now between 12 and 12 1/2" long and around 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds, and gaining approximately 6 ounces a week. The brain continues in its rapid growth mode and the lungs are maturing. The special cells which produce surfactant are developing. Surfactant is what helps the air sacs inflate, and preemies who struggle with breathing are usually having difficulties because the special cells have not fully developed prior to delivery. The taste buds are getting more sensitive, and baby may even react to a particularly strong taste in Mommy's food. The sweat glands are developing now, as well. The hands are getting more coordinated, as evidenced in more precise thumb-sucking skills. The big news of the week however is that the baby is now officially viable!
Pregnancy Symptoms You May Feel During Week 24
Itchy, itchy, itchy. This point in pregnancy there are often some annoying symptoms popping up. The skin on breasts and belly is really stretching and with that frequently comes an intense itchy sensation. Your palms and soles of your feet may also be red and itchy, due to your pregnancy hormones. Other seemingly random annoyances include a metallic taste in your mouth, and increased saliva. Also, you might be experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. This won't be caused by the typical repetitive movements of office work, but rather by the pregnancy swelling putting pressure on nerves. This will produce tingling and numbness in your fingers and wrists. You may also be experiencing dryness and sensitivity with your eyes now. Heartburn, which may have plagued you earlier in your pregnancy, might well be back now with a vengeance. Avoid lying down immediately after eating, and eat regular small meals.
Visit With the Obstetrician
Probably in the next few weeks you'll be scheduled for your glucose screening test to check for gestational diabetes. This test is typically done between the 24th and 28th weeks. You will be told to eat and drink normally prior to the test. You'll come into the office and be given a syrupy sweet solution to drink. An hour later a blood sample will be taken to check the blood sugar levels. You'll typically wait at the office for results. A result of 130 - 140 milligrams per deciliter may indicate a high blood sugar level and will require more testing. False positives are fairly common, so even if the test indicates a possibility of gestational diabetes, don't panic just yet. The follow up test is the glucose tolerance test and will yield the needed reliable results. Gestational diabetes is serious, but rather common, and manageable.
Preparing for Baby
This week baby is officially viable, so it's definitely time to get those hospital bags packed! By now you might have started birthing classes or visited the hospital and done a tour. Find out what items they recommend you bring, and which ones they will not allow. Think of the things you will find comfort in-both emotional and physical but be practical at the same time. You won't be bringing in a set of luggage, just a simple bag. Talk to other mothers who have recently given birth to find out what items they couldn't have lived without and which ones they forgot.
One of those unpleasant side effects of pregnancy hormones is the embarrassing fuzzy brain. Your thinking won't always be at its sharpest during pregnancy, especially as you get into your second trimester. Don't worry about it, it won't be permanent, although honestly it may feel that way for awhile as you adjust to sleep deprivation with a newborn. The best way to deal with this symptom, is with some planning and a good sense of humor. Make lists for things you typically never needed to before. Don't count on remembering that little list of five items at the grocery, write it down. Keep a little pad in your purse to keep other reminders for yourself. Don't get frustrated that you keep walking into a room to get something that you now can't remember. Find a way to laugh it off. It's just hormones, you will not be an airhead permanently.
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