Pregnancy Week 24
Week 24 of pregnancy includes a baby who is now about one pound and around 8 1/2 inches long. From this point on, strong kicks to the belly are not uncommon for the growing baby. As the baby grows, the room it has in which to develop begins to dwindle. The baby eventually goes into a regular cycle of sleep and this sort of wakeful exuberance. During week 24 of pregnancy, the babyís organs, circulatory systems, central nervous system, and digestive and reproductive systems continue to advance. The lungs also continue to develop and branch out. Also, the amniotic fluid will begin to increase.
The 24th week of pregnancy, and on, is an important time to develop the bond between mother, father, and child. The baby can hear voices inside the womb and immediately upon birth, distinguishes those voices from everyone else in the room. Heartburn is a very common symptom of week 24 and on because, as the uterus grows, it places a heavy force on the digestive organs. As the capillaries of the respiratory tract enlarge and the lung muscles loosen up, because of certain pregnancy hormones, breathing may become heavier. The expanding uterus also places pressure on the diaphragm and doesnít leave much room to take deep breaths.
Gestational diabetes should be tested for during this time period and is usually done so via a glucose screening. Women who have high blood sugar levels for the duration of their pregnancies are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Although the causes are not certain, it is thought that this occurs because the hormones that help the baby grow in the placenta hinder the insulin in the motherís body. Hence, the mother develops insulin resistance which makes it nearly impossible for the motherís body to employ her insulin. Since three times as much insulin is needed to sustain the mother, the extra glucose crosses the placenta and gives the baby high blood sugar. The babyís body then makes extra insulin. Since the extra energy is not being spent, the baby builds layers of fat in a condition known as macrosomia. This extra weight can cause problems during birth and later on in life. Symptoms include fatigue, queasiness, extreme thirst, and frequent urination. Exercise, diet, and sometimes medication can help treat gestational diabetes.
Pregnancy Week 23 | Pregnancy Week 25