More movement with more purpose
Week 24: Your baby starts to develop a sense of balance
During your 24th week of pregnancy, your baby's face is almost completely formed, down to his 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 1-1/2 pounds.
- Which way is up? Your baby probably knows — now that his inner ear, which controls balance, has finished developing. He might be able to tell 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.
Your Week 24 nutrition and health
How to eat out ...and still eat healthy
Going out can be convenient, especially when you're pregnant and extremely busy. Consider these healthy tips when you go out to eat while pregnant to help keep any "hidden" restaurant calories, unhealthy fats, and sugars off your plate:
- Don't arrive famished. It's the best way to ensure that you don't overeat. Try to eat a piece of fruit, vegetables, crackers, or a handful of nuts before you go.
- Ask about preparation methods, and make special requests.You almost always can substitute grilled options for fried, or steamed veggies for fries.
- Smaller is better. Because restaurant portions are often larger than recommended serving sizes, plan to share a meal, or immediately box half of it to bring home for another meal.
How to get the most out of your fruits and vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables is essential to a healthy pregnancy. Here are some simple ways to find the best produce close to home:
- Buy in season. Fruits and vegetables have their peak growing seasons. When they are most abundant is when they will be fully ripened and have the most nutrients.
- Go to farmers' markets. Locally grown produce is normally fresher than store-bought produce and is often organic.
- Be honest about what you'll eat. Take a long look at what you eat and what you end up throwing out. For example, while fresh strawberries might seem like the healthiest option, don’t buy several quarts if you’re only able to eat one.
- Frozen fruits and vegetables are just fine if you can’t get them fresh. They are processed at the peak of freshness, loaded with vitamins and minerals, low in fat, and a good source of fiber.
Glucose screening test
At your next doctor 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 might schedule you to take a glucose tolerance test, which is very similar to the glucose screening test, but is taken after you fast and requires four blood samples over three hours.
Keeping track of your urinary health
Because of your growing uterus and hormone-relaxed muscles, your urine flow might remain slow at your 24th week of pregnancy. You might 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
Have you chosen a pediatrician yet?
If you haven't, don't worry. Many moms haven't gotten that far yet. If you want some advice about choosing the right pediatrician for your baby, here are some questions that might be important to you:
- Does the doctor accept your insurance plan?
- How large is the practice?
- Will your baby be seen by the same doctor at every visit?
- What are the office hours?
- What are the after-hours procedures?
- With which hospital does the doctor work?