Breast milk is best for your baby

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.

2nd-trimester-top-image.jpg

SECOND TRIMESTER / WEEK 24

24th Week of Pregnancy

Upside Down or Right Side Up?
guide-wk24-1.png

Baby's Growth and Development at 24 Weeks Pregnant

During your 24th week of pregnancy, your baby's face is almost completely formed, down to the tiny eyelashes.

  • When you’re 24 weeks pregnant, your baby is about 8 inches long, close to the length of a banana, and weighs about 1½ pounds.
  • Which way is up? Your baby probably knows — now that his inner ear, which controls balance, has finished developing. He might realize whether he is upside down or right side up inside your amniotic sac.
  • Your baby probably is continuing to become more active.
    • Your baby's movements show your doctor that your baby is in good health.
    • His movements right now are important for stimulating muscle growth, keeping joints flexible and strengthening bones.
    • Right now, your baby probably is gaining about 6 ounces each week.

guide-wk24-2.png

Your Changing Body at 24 Weeks Pregnant

At this 24th week of pregnancy, you probably are continuing to feel fairly good. You might be learning to adjust to your growing abdomen and shifting center of balance.

  • Your rib cage is continuing to expand to house your expanding lungs. After your baby is born, your rib cage will return to its normal size.
  • Blood vessels in your breasts continue to become more visible.
  • A shift in hormones at 24 weeks pregnant: As you progress through your pregnancy, various hormones are produced at different rates to meet the changing needs of your baby.
    • In the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, your body produced more progesterone.
    • At 21 to 22 weeks pregnant, your body produced equal amounts of progesterone and estrogen.
    • Starting the 24th week of pregnancy, your body's amount of estrogen is higher.
  • Because your urine flow probably remains slow at your 24th week of pregnancy with your growing uterus and hormone-relaxed muscles, you may want to continue to watch for a possible urinary infection. Call your doctor if you:
    • Urinate more than usual
    • Feel burning when you urinate
    • Have a fever, abdominal pain, or severe backache

guide-wk24-3.png

Wellness and Nutrition at 24 Weeks Pregnant

Still feeling good? This may be a great time to add variety to your regular exercise routine and eating habits.

  • Eating out … and still eating healthy. Going out can be convenient, especially when you're pregnant and extremely busy. Consider these healthful tips when you go out to eat:
    • Restaurant choices often hold many "hidden" calories, unhealthy fats, and sugars. Here are a few tips:
      • Don't arrive famished. It’s the best way to ensure you overeat. Try to eat a piece of fruit, vegetables, crackers, or a handful of nuts before you go.
      • Ask about ingredients or make special requests. You almost always can substitute grilled options for fried or steamed veggies for fries.
      • Smaller is better. Plan to share a meal or immediately box half of it to bring home for another meal.
  • At your next doctor's visit, you probably will take the glucose screening test. This test usually occurs between the 24th week of pregnancy and the 28th week, or earlier if you have risk factors.
    • The test checks for gestational diabetes — a type of diabetes that some women experience during pregnancy and that goes away after baby is born.
    • You will drink a full glass of glucose solution and your doctor will check your blood glucose level an hour later.
    • If results are abnormal, your doctor may schedule you to take a glucose tolerance test, which is very similar, but is taken after you fast and requires four blood samples over three hours.