24 Weeks Pregnant
Consider this a preview of motherhood: Baby is doing just fine—and you’re, well, kind of a mess. Your week 24 baby is working on being ready to survive (and thrive!) in the outside world. You, on the other hand, are probably experiencing some of the late-pregnancy discomforts at 24 weeks pregnant—leg cramps, backaches and swollen feet. Hang in there, mama-to-be!
How Big Is Baby at 24 Weeks?
At 24 weeks, baby is the size of a cantaloupe. Your 11.8-inch fetus now weighs about 1.3 pounds.
24 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
Now that you’re 24 weeks pregnant, you’re six months pregnant.
Your (pretty annoying) 24 week pregnant symptoms probably sound a little bit like this:
- Swollen ankles and feet. If your tootsies are puffy, elevate them while you're sitting. Getting up and walking often can help too. A little bit of swelling is totally to be expected but swelling in your face, severe swelling in your hands, or uneven (in one leg and not the other) or sudden swelling aren’t run-of-the-mill. In fact, those are signs of preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication, so tell your OB if you’re experiencing any swelling that seems out of the ordinary.
- Leg cramps. Tight, achy or “jumpy” legs can be a sign of dehydration, so check that you’re drinking plenty of water. Stretch your legs often and take lots of walks. Let your doctor know you’re getting leg cramps; they’re probably not an issue, but occasionally cramps can be a sign of another problem, such as a nutritional deficiency, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
- Backaches. Yep, you’re still experiencing back pain—and it might even be getting worse. That’s because as baby gets larger, so does your uterus (of course), and your uterus presses against your spine, making it more curved and strained. Plus, your back muscles have to work harder to carry the extra weight. Tell your doctor about any severe pain (a.k.a. sciatica).
- Linea nigra. That's the dark line that runs up the center of your belly. Influenced by pregnancy hormones, the linea nigra should fade within a few weeks to months after giving birth.
- Stretch marks. These “tiger stripes” may continue to appear as your skin stretches even more. If you’re 24 weeks pregnant with twins, you’re probably more likely to get them.
At 24 weeks pregnant, you’ve probably been feeling baby kicking for at least a few weeks, but now they’re getting stronger and stronger. In fact, your partner or others who touch your belly might start to feel those kicks soon too.
Recommended 24 weeks pregnant weight gain is about 14 to 16 pounds for moms-to-be of normal BMI. If you’ve gained a bit more than that, don’t worry—it’s drastic or sudden weight gain that’s cause for concern—but for the healthiest pregnancy possible, you’ll want to find ways to keep your weight gain under control.
Did you know 24 is a magic number for twin moms? It’s recommended that women who are 24 weeks pregnant with twins have gained 24 pounds by now. In fact, if you have, you’ve actually reduced your risk of preterm labor.
Inside your 24 weeks pregnant belly, baby is making progress. It isn’t just about anatomical stuff; it’s about looks too. Your 24-week fetus’ see-through skin is gradually becoming more opaque, and it’s taking on a fresh, pink glow, thanks to the small capillaries that have recently formed.
Drink up! Around 24 weeks pregnant, your doctor will order a Glucose Challenge Screening Test—one of the more memorable prenatal tests—to see if you’re at risk for gestational diabetes. The test is designed to see how your body processes sugar, so you’ll be asked to drink a sweet liquid called Glucola (which reminds us of Gatorade) and then hang out for an hour. Once the hour is up, you’ll have your blood drawn and then it will be tested to see how your body has processed the sugar.
If your doctor finds abnormal results, you may have to have a follow-up test called the glucose tolerance test. Hunker down in the waiting room for this one! It will measure how your body processes sugar over a three-hour period to see if you really do have gestational diabetes. If you do, it’s not the end of the world. Your doctor will counsel you on how to keep your condition in check so the rest of your pregnancy stays healthy. And you and baby might get extra monitoring—meaning, extra ultrasounds. Look on the bright side: At least you’ll get to peek at baby more often!
Reminders for the week:
Medical content was reviewed February 2020 by Patricia Pollio, MD, a New York-based ob-gyn and director of the department of obstetrics & gynecology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York.