CHANGES TO MUM
At 24 weeks of pregnancy your fundus (the top of your uterus) will continue to grow and expand. From time to time you may notice that your lower abdomen feels tight and you have an irregular squeezing feeling.
This tightening sensation is actually Braxton Hicks contractions and is your body’s way of practicing for labour. This sensation is usually very weak and will change in length, it can be brought on by a busy day, exercise, having sex or dehydration.
While they are a completely normal part of pregnancy, if you experience pain, bleeding, vaginal leaking or the contractions become very regular, seek advice from your doctor.
Your womb will even start to become a bit more cramped but your baby’s movements should still be very strong. Most babies have a rhythmic period where you may even be able to tell when your baby is awake or sleeping by the regularity of their kicking.
As you grow you may notice marks forming on your skin. We have discussed stretch marks in the past and as you know they will fade after the birth of your baby. To help reduce these red/brown streaks and marks on your breasts wear a supportive maternity bra.
You may find that even wearing a maternity bra at night while you sleep will give you the extra support you require and reduce discomfort you may have been feeling.
During this stage of pregnancy you may experience a symptom called dry-eye where your eyes feel very dry and become sensitive to light. There are eye drops that can help to reduce dry-eye and this gritty feeling you may be dealing with.
Your doctor will continue to monitor your pregnancy, measuring your fundal height, weight and your overall bodily changes. Maintain a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and staying as active as you can to help continue with a healthy pregnancy.
CHANGES TO BUB
By 24 weeks of pregnancy your baby will weigh more than 600 grams and measure up to 30 cms from crown to heel. Your baby’s body despite being thin is well proportioned now as the body grows faster than the head and all arms and legs have their normal amount of muscle. He/she has the same proportions as a newborn baby.
As your baby develops, lines start to appear on the palms of the hands and the bone centers are beginning to harden. The patterns of your baby’s brainwaves are now like those of a full-term newborn and is now developing patterns of sleeping and waking.
Up until this point of the pregnancy your baby had no idea that they were the right way up or up side down inside the womb. Your baby’s inner ear has now developed to a point where he or she is starting to tell the difference, as the inner ear controls our sense of balance.
The position of your baby will of course becoming very important in the final weeks of your pregnancy. The way your baby is presenting (the position in the uterus) can affect the type of delivery and labour you have.