Pregnancy week 24
(Sparx Media)

How's the foetus during week 24?

Baby gains weight

Your baby weighs about 600g - and is about 30cm long from crown to heel- the length of a mealie.

Your baby is gaining weight mainly from muscle, bone mass and the growing organs and tissues. 
Rapid eye movement has begun.

What's with my body: Braxton Hicks contractions 

  • You may start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions (contraction of the uterus), especially if this is not your first pregnancy. They are different from real labour in that they are not painful, rhythmic and regular. 
  • Be on the look-out for the signs of premature labour. 
  • If you experience more than four contractions during an hour, if they change in intensity and/or they are accompanied by vaginal secretions, see your doctor.

Go back to the complete list of Pregnancy week-by-week updates.

You may be putting on weight at about 0.5kg per week at this point, but don't worry if you feel like you look smaller or larger than you expected. Your size will depend on many factors, including your build, stature, carriage and the amount of amniotic fluid inside your womb. It's the size of your growing baby that counts, which will be checked by ultrasound scanning.

How your baby's growing:

Since your baby's inner ear is now completely developed, she can tell when she is upside down or right side up as she floats or moves in your uterus. She is still red, wrinkly and skinny, but will soon start to put on weight.

It might feel like she's in constant motion, with regular hiccups and kicks and rolls. She may kick in response to sound and touch, so get dad to talk to baby and see if she responds with a kick!

How you may be feeling:

Being overweight or obese even before becoming pregnant puts you and your future baby at increased risk for complications, including C-sections, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, stillbirth, birth defects and the child’s own risk of obesity later in life. The heavier you are, the greater the risks. Experts agree that the best way to reduce those risks is to achieve a healthy weight before conceiving. If that's not possible, the next best thing is avoiding excess weight gain during pregnancy.

Tip of the week: baby's room

No doubt one of the things on your mind has been how to create a special space for your new one on the way. Now might be the time to consider decorating your nursery. A nursery needs to be a place of tranquillity, a calm and comfortable room for both mother and baby.

Here are a few tips on how to create this special haven:

  • Choose a neutral palette, especially if you're not sure if you're having a girl or a boy. Add hints of soft sunshine yellow for little splashes of colour. More colour can be added at a later stage by introducing a cushion or blanket here and there without having to go to the expense of changing the entire room.
  • A comfortable chair for feeding is essential in every nursery, as is plenty of storage space. Mix old and new furniture: a family heirloom (or a flea market find) stripped and left natural, or given a fresh coat of paint, will look great combined with more contemporary items.
  • Natural fabrics, like 100% cottons and soft knits, are perfect for dressing a baby's cot. Keep them on hand for chilly mornings or afternoon naps.
  • An easy, effective way of adding colour to a nursery is to paint small wooden blocks in the colour of your choice and gluing tiny soft toys to them for a quirky element, before mounting on the wall.
  • Keep hanging goodies like gowns and PJ bags neat and tidy with allocated hooks. Draw a simple line drawing as a sign and frame in a natural wood frame to hang above each hook.
  • Create simple, effective shelving using children's beach buckets and whitewashed pine planks. Pile them high or keep them low, these shelves are great for easy access to soft toys.

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