For more information about week 24 in a twin or multiple pregnancy, tap here.
Your baby’s lungs are developing in some major ways this week, and preparing for life outside of the womb. You’re now more than halfway to your due date, so those sweet baby breaths are right around the corner!
By the end of this week, Baby is probably about 12.5-13 inches long, the size of an eggplant, and weighs 1.5 lbs!
Baby is starting to develop taste buds, which means that before too long, your little one will be able to taste some of the stronger flavors of the things you eat through the amniotic fluid they still swallow regularly. And according to a 2011 study, this could impact their food preferences later in life, so make sure to eat a range of nutritious, tasty, flavorful foods — it might mean you’ll have an easier time introducing your toddler to new dishes in just a few years.
Baby’s lungs are developing significantly after all of the breathing they’ve been getting, and they’re now making cells that will produce surfactant, a material that will help them breathe and get the oxygen they need once they’re born. Surfactant is a liquid that helps keep the tiny air sacs in the lungs, the alveoli, from sticking together as a baby breathes.
Your growing baby has also gained about a quarter of a pound last week (110 g) in bones, muscle, and fat, so they’re finally beginning to really fill out. And even though Baby’s eyebrows, lashes, and hair are coming in, they still lack pigment and appear white. Your little one’s skin is beginning to glow a bit pinker now, due to the appearance of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. And their ears and fingernails are also fully formed now.
What’s new with you?
Between the linea nigra, stretch marks, and an itchy belly, your skin might be driving you nuts this week. Topical creams meant for stretch marks or dry skin may help reduce the itchiness, check with your provider about the best and safest options for you. Using unscented, mild lotions and soaps can help too, as can avoiding baths and showers that are too hot, which can dry out your skin. Constipation or dry eyes may also prove to be issues for you right now. And sometime in the next couple of weeks, you’ll likely take a glucose challenge test (GCT) to screen for gestational diabetes.
Your ankles and fingers might be swollen as well, due in part to fluid retention, and the pressure of your growing uterus on your veins. For relief, try elevating your feet or icing the swollen areas to help alleviate some of the pain. Headaches and vision changes are also not uncommon at this time. Sometimes these symptoms — swelling, headaches, and vision changes — are not a problem, but they can also be signs of preeclampsia, which can be serious for both you and your baby. So if you experience any of these issues, be sure to tell your healthcare provider right away so they can determine if you’re dealing with normal symptoms or something more serious.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D. “What causes ankle swelling during pregnancy – and what can I do about it?” Mayo Clinic. August 7, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/swelling-during-pregnancy/faq-20058467.
- Paul O Nkadi, T Allen Merritt, De-Ann M Pillers. “An Overview of Pulmonary Surfactant in the Neonate: Genetics, Metabolism, and the Role of Surfactant in Health and Disease.” Mol Genet Metab. Web. June 2009.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Fetal development: The second trimester.” Mayo Clinic. June 30, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/fetal-development/art-20046151.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Glucose challenge test.” Mayo Clinic. March 6, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/glucose-tolerance-test/about/pac-20394296.
- Mark A Curran, M.D. “Fetal Development.” Perinatology.com. Perinatology.com. March 31, 2019. https://www.perinatology.com/Reference/Fetal%20development.htm#1.