Illustration by Yeji Kim

Week 24 of Your Pregnancy

Week 24 of pregnancy marks a significant milestone. Read on to learn what it is and what else to expect.

At 24 weeks pregnant, you're inching closer (and closer) to your third trimester. The momentous occasion is less than four weeks away. But this week still marks a significant milestone: the 24th week is generally considered the week a fetus becomes viable meaning that, if the baby were born, they'd have approximately a 50% chance of survival.

Circumstances will vary, so continue openly communicating with your provider about any concerns, such as reduced movement or bleeding. Otherwise, the second trimester tends to be when pregnant people experience the fewest symptoms. Hopefully, you can enjoy it while planning for the changes to come.

Pregnancy Week 24 Quick Facts

  • At 24 weeks, you're six months pregnant
  • You have 16 weeks until your due date
  • You're in your second trimester

Your Unborn Baby's Size at 24 Weeks

At 24 weeks, your unborn baby is about 11.81 inches long and weighs approximately 1.32 pounds: the size of an ear of corn. "Baby will gain six ounces per week moving forward," says Yamel Belen, BSN, RN, CLC, a doula and owner of One Love Doula.

week 24

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 24

As your baby-to-be grows, so may the symptoms you start to experience, including:

Round ligament pain is a result of your changing body. "As the round ligament stretches and the uterus moves up, people [frequently] complain of round ligament pain during these weeks," Belen says. Back discomfort is also common. You may want to invest in a pregnancy pillow or prenatal massage. The latter can alleviate aches and pains while the former provides support. Pregnancy pillows may also help with fatigue.

"Trouble sleeping in pregnancy is a common side effect, but you need rest in order to manage your day-to-day," Belen says. She recommends incorporating several things into your nightime routine, including Epsom salt soaks; diffusing lavender; and drinking calming herbal teas, such as chamomile. She also suggests you get a pregnancy support pillow for added comfort.

Speaking of pillows, it may feel like your future baby's new favorite one is your bladder. Longer road trips may involve several potty breaks. But what’s the reason? Well, it’s one of logistics. "Baby is heavier and is applying pressure to the bladder," explains Belen. This, unfortunately, means more trips to the bathroom.

Developmental Milestones

Belen says that hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes, are continuing to develop during this time. "More importantly, [however,] your baby has a higher chance of survival outside of the womb once at 24 weeks, which is a huge milestone," Belen says.

The central nervous system, including the brain, will continue to develop this week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Same for eyes, external genitals, and even teeth—though you have a while before teething-related fun begins.

Prenatal Tests and Doctor's Appointments

You'll likely have a check-up with your provider at 24 weeks. They'll take your vital signs, like blood pressure. You can always opt out of some tests, though. Don't want to know your weight? You can tell your provider you wish to skip it.

You likely won't have an ultrasound this week. But Belen says that if anything was flagged on your 20-week anatomy scan, a provider might follow up at this appointment.

Your provider will also inform you about the glucose test, which screens for gestational diabetes. Belen notes it's done as early as 24 weeks and as late as around 28 weeks. Traditionally, patients go for a one-hour screening test and, if that is abnormal, they schedule a three-hour diagnostic test. However, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) regarding the one step approach: As of 2017, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) continues to recognize that there is an absence of clear evidence that supports the IADPSG-recommended approach versus the more traditional two-step screening approach. 

You should feel comfortable discussing anything with your provider, including adding members to your birth team, such as a doula, who can help you advocate for yourself and feel informed before, during, and after birth. You can also begin discussing any applicable birth plan or concerns if you haven't started that conversation (it's always best to discuss plans, such as gentle C-sections or the desire to move around during labor before the big day).

"Pregnant people should be talking to their provider about touring their delivery location," says Belen. "They should be educating themselves about what to expect in labor/birth via childbirth preparation and should discuss what their providers' protocols are should they happen to go post-due date which happens to many of us."

Common Questions at This Pregnancy Stage

I'm a little worried about drinking the drink for the gestational diabetes test. Will it harm my baby?

In short, no. But here's what to know: First-time expecting parents may have heard about the glucola drink, which tastes like warm, flat soda (read: not the most enjoyable taste). Depending on whether you're going for a one, two, or three-hour test, the drink will have 50 to 100 grams of sugar, explains Victor R. Klein, M.D., MBA, BPHRM, FACOG, FACMGG, DFASHRM, the system director of quality and patient safety, obstetrics and gynecology with Northwell Health.

"It is standard care to test all women who do not have diabetes prior to pregnancy at 24 to 28 weeks as hormone changes in pregnancy can cause insulin resistance and diabetes," says Dr. Klein, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. But could it cause harm to your baby? "The drink will not harm the baby or the mother," says Dr. Klein. "Diagnosing diabetes in pregnancy and controlling blood sugars can improve maternal and neonatal outcomes."

I'm seeing a line on my stomach going from my belly button to my chest. What is that?

First, know this: The line you see is totally normal. "The line on your stomach from your belly button to your chest is called the linea nigra. It is caused by an increase in hormones from your pregnancy and will fade after the birth of your baby," says Monte Swarup, M.D., FACOG, an Arizona-based board-certified OB-GYN and founder of the leading vaginal health information site Vaginal Health Hub.

I'm having a ton of trouble sleeping. What should I do?

Sleep troubles are common at this stage but pesky, particularly if you're fatigued as it is."It's normal to have trouble sleeping or insomnia during week 24 of your pregnancy," Dr. Swarup notes. But Dr. Klein believes good sleep hygiene can help.

"Warm baths, decreasing screen time, and relaxation prior to sleep have been used as effective sleep habits," Dr. Klein says.

Dr. Swarup adds that talk therapy can also be helpful, particularly if the sleep troubles result from racing thoughts. You're undergoing a big change—with more changes to come. There's no shame in getting help.

Things You Might Consider This Week

If you plan to lactate, you're entitled to a free breast pump through insurance. Belen recommends looking into it. You can call the member number on the back of your card to learn more about how and where to get your pump.

Do you want a baby shower (or sprinkle if this baby is not your first)? For some pregnant people, the party is a highlight. Others may prefer something more low-key or nothing at all. Regardless, week 24 is a good time to make a final decision so whoever is planning the celebration — should you have one—can make reservations and send out invitations.

Who do you want to attend your birth? It's a highly personal decision, but Belen says it's a significant one. "This is a great time to decide who you want at your birth—and to make sure they are equipped to support you, particularly if your labor is long," Belen says. "Additionally, it's a great time to start thinking of writing out a birth plan. Doing this exercise can help you determine what your desires are and help you communicate this with your birth team."

Support You May Need This Week

You deserve to feel supported as you near your due date. Signing up for a childbirth education class can help you feel empowered and ease your nerves. Your hospital likely offers one, and your provider and doula can provide you with additional options that may exist in your area.

You can also look into a doula. For example, Belen says some counties and hospitals may offer free doula programs. DONA International also has listings. Should you plan to lactate, meeting with a board-certified lactation consultant in advance can help you feel more prepared. If you're eligible for Women, Infants, and Children assistance (WIC), you will have access to free lactation services.

Head over to week 25 of pregnancy

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