Your baby, your body, your partner and the prenatal visit, plus tips for the 24th week of pregnancy.
At 24 weeks, the fetus is usually considered "viable" by most doctors. That means it has a reasonable chance of surviving if born prematurely. During the 24th week, your baby continues to gain good weight. Weighing in at more than 1 1/3 pounds, your baby is gaining weight thanks to bone development, muscle growth, and organ growth. If you are pregnant with multiples, the 24th week is the earliest time the fetuses could be born and survive. If multiples are born in the 24th week, they will require neonatal intensive care for many months before heading home.
The uterus has reached two inches above the navel. There is no hiding the pregnancy now as the tummy is sticking out far enough for the world to notice.
Dehydration can be a major problem. Sometimes, women find themselves in the hospital with problems only to find out that they are simply just dehydrated. Dehydration can occur quickly. Fighting off dehydration is easy as long as you drink plenty of water throughout the day. You should drink at least 8-10 cups of fluid, preferably water or thin juices a day. Making it a habit to carry a water bottle at all times also helps keep the body hydrated.
At the prenatal visit
Between weeks 24 and 28, your doctor or midwife will order a gestational diabetes test. The test involves drinking a sugary liquid and having blood drawn at various intervals to test the body’s reaction to high levels of sugar. Women with gestational diabetes can have healthy babies, they simply need to monitor glucose levels throughout the pregnancy and switch to a low carbohydrate diet. If you are carrying multiples, you will need to carefully note any changes in vaginal discharge or contractions. Preterm labor is common and may start with a vaginal infection.
Take plenty of pictures from week 24 until the end of pregnancy. You will both love to gaze at the photos years later as your child grows up.
Tips for this week
Preterm labor can start at any time. You might first notice changes such as lower back pain and abdominal cramping. Irregular and occasional contractions, maybe 2-3 per day are common as the uterus prepares for birth. However, if contractions come in a patterned cycle or grow stronger and closer together, and you experience more than 2-3 per hour, then the doctor should be immediately notified. These symptoms are not typical of Braxton Hicks contractions and may indicate a more serious problem like premature labor.