Week 24 of Pregnancy

Written by Amina Hatia RM and medically reviewed by Marley Hall RM

Published on February 7, 2022
Live & Online 60,000+ Community

Your baby must be really starting to expand now and with it should also come some real kicks and nudges from inside. Gone are the days when you’re not  sure if it’s a fluttering movement or a bit of wind – there is no mistaking your baby is somersaulting inside you now!

Week 24 also signals the beginning of seeing more of your maternity team now. There are a range of regular checks ahead, as well as others if you have any risk factors, so a busy time of appointments ahead for you.

Your employer should be aware already – but remember any time you need off to attend antenatal appointments or for antenatal care, should be paid time off at your normal rate of pay.

It’s also worth noting that antenatal care isn’t only medical checks – it can also mean antenatal or classes if your midwife or doctor recommends them.

Similarly, your partner is also entitled time off work (although this may be unpaid) to attend up to 2 antenatal appointments with you.

Further information on your pregnancy at work rights can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/working-when-pregnant-your-rights

How big is my baby?

Your baby is growing so much – weighing in at about 600 grams and measuring around 30 centimetres, they are the length of an ear of sweetcorn – though far much cuter!

What happens in week 24 of pregnancy?

24 weeks is an important developmental milestone for your baby – in the very unlikely event of you going into labour at 24 weeks, your baby’s lungs and organs have developed enough to give your baby a chance of survival with expert medical care. Of course, we want baby to stay safe inside you and grow to full term – but it can be reassuring to know how capable your baby is even though it is still small in size. 

Baby’s eyelashes, eyebrows and any hair on their head is still growing but at this stage is white because the pigment which gives the colour hasn’t developed yet. Other changes include those all-important taste buds continuing to develop as well as what’s called the startle reflex – which means your baby reacts to sounds and loud noises!

Week 24 pregnancy symptoms

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes – often shortened to GDM, is a pregnancy related condition where there is a high blood sugar (glucose) level during pregnancy. It is only temporary and tends to disappear after the birth of your baby.

If you are affected by GDM your body is unable to produce enough insulin to meet the extra needs you will have in pregnancy. Insulin is the hormone that helps to control your blood sugar levels.

Gestational diabetes untreated can cause issues for you and your baby – but the risks can be reduced if GDM is detected early and well managed, and why it is so important to have a Glucose Tolerance Test if offered in pregnancy.

A GTT is usually offered if you have any risk factors for GDM which can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gestational-diabetes/

The GTT takes around 2 hours and is carried out in a hospital or clinic setting. Your midwife will advise you to book it or arrange it for you often after your first scan.

The GTT is a fasting blood test, so you will need to have not eaten any food or had any drinks for 8 to 12 hours before – so usually arranged for first thing in the morning. Your midwife will give you instructions on when and how to prepare at home the night before with your appointment letter. On the day, the midwife will first take a sample of blood and then will offer you a measured glucose drink. 

You will then have to wait in the clinic/area for 2 hours, during which time you cannot eat or drink still. Another blood sample is then taken – this is to see how your body manages the glucose.

Week 24 pregnancy tips

  • If you have a GTT booked, find out in advance what you need to do to prepare – if you are unsure contact your midwife for advice.
  • It will also help to take a book to read or something to keep you entertained for the 2+ hour GTT appointment.
  • Calcium is essential in helping your baby’s bones develop and grow. Ensure that your diet has enough calcium in it in pregnancy to help with this – so make sure you have plenty of cheese, eggs, milk, yoghurts as well as oranges, nuts, pulses, and broccoli in your daily intake of food and drink. 
  • Alongside a healthy diet, it’s important to maintain an active lifestyle as well. As your body changes, fitting in a daily stroll or walk with a friend can make a real difference to your physical and mental wellbeing.

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