The baby in the 24th week of pregnancy and main symptoms in the mother

By (embryologist).
Last Update: 06/21/2023

The 24th week of pregnancy belongs to the second trimester of gestation, specifically, at the end of the sixth month of pregnancy. During this week the baby spends most of the day asleep, but when it moves, the woman senses it more and more intensely.

As for the pregnant woman, it is possible that in the 24th week of gestation, discomfort may appear or may be accentuated due to the more evident size that the belly is acquiring. In addition, testing to assess the risk of developing gestational diabetes is likely to be performed in this week of pregnancy.

What does the baby look like at week 24 of pregnancy?

The baby weighs about 600 grams and measures about 30 centimeters (if the length of the legs is taken into account, as there are times when this measurement is expressed only up to the buttocks) in the 24th week of pregnancy.

However, the baby still has enough room inside the uterus to be very mobile and its movements and kicks will be noticeable to the mother. However, the baby sleeps most of the time.

The skin, until now quite translucent, will begin to change this aspect for a more opaque one due to the fat that begins to accumulate under the skin. This will help you regulate your body temperature.

The inner ear is also already developed, so, because of its relation to balance, the baby already senses how it is positioned and whether it is head up or head down after its turns and movements.

Eventually, their lungs are getting ready to be able to breathe outside the uterus (they would not yet be ready and would have problems) and will soon begin to produce surfactant. This substance is necessary to prevent lung collapse when breathing.

However, in this week the baby is said to reach fetal viability, that is, it could survive if born prematurely from this week on, although it would need the appropriate means and care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to try to make it survive.

Changes in the mother at 24 weeks of pregnancy

By the 24th week of pregnancy, a woman may have gained about 20 pounds. In any case, this is totally indicative and it will be the specialist who will control the weight gain of the pregnant woman so that it is appropriate to her particular situation.

The increase in volume of the abdomen and chest can cause itching due to the stretching of the skin. Therefore, it will be very important to use a specific moisturizing cream suitable for pregnancy, which will also help prevent stretch marks.

Other common symptoms and discomforts in the 24th week of pregnancy are:

  • Back pain.
  • Feeling of clumsiness and worse balance, since the increased weight in the abdomen changes the center of gravity.
  • Reflux and burning.
  • Constipation, which can lead to hemorrhoids.
  • Dark spots on the skin (chloasma), often on the face and sun-exposed areas.
  • Linea nigra, which is the darkening of the central vertical line that divides the abdomen in two. It usually goes away in the following months after delivery.
  • Navel outward, due to the internal pressure of the uterus on the abdomen. This is common, but if there is pain in the area, a specialist should be consulted.
  • Difficulty sleeping and finding a comfortable position.
  • Cramps, varicose veins and leg discomfort.
  • Fluid retention and swelling in feet, ankles and legs.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes numbness of the hand.
  • Problems in the gums, which bleed.
  • Hot flashes and increased sweating.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions, which the pregnant woman notices as the abdomen tightens. They are different from labor contractions in that Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular, do not increase in frequency and intensity, and are not painful, although they can be uncomfortable.

In any case, if the woman presents any symptom that she thinks may be out of the ordinary and when in doubt, it is always best to consult a specialist and not to self-medicate.

Tests and medical control

It is usual that, between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, the pregnant woman undergoes a second trimester blood and urine test, which will be used to evaluate several things.

Among the most important things that this analysis will evaluate is whether the pregnant woman has anemia, as it may be more common in the second half of pregnancy and from the second trimester of gestation. This is iron deficiency anemia, which can occur due to a deficit of iron as the needs of the mother and baby increase.

Therefore, the pregnant woman may be prescribed iron supplements from this moment on, to prevent or treat the deficit, if the specialist considers it necessary. Similarly, the woman should tell you if she feels fatigued, tired, weak, pale or even dizzy, as these may be symptoms of anemia.

Another important test that will be performed in the second trimester is the glucose test or O'Sullivan test. This test is performed to see if the pregnant woman is at increased risk for gestational diabetes.

The O'Sullivan test consists of the initial determination of basal blood glucose, the ingestion of a preparation containing 50 g of glucose and, one hour later, a new determination of the blood glucose level. The woman must remain at rest during this time and cannot eat or drink.

If the results suggest that the woman may have gestational diabetes, it will be necessary to confirm it later with the oral glucose overload test or "long curve"long curve".


There are some recommendations or tips that may be useful for the pregnant woman in the 24th week of gestation. Among them are:

  • Take care of your diet, so that it is healthy, balanced and varied. It should also include fiber (to avoid constipation) and iron-rich foods such as clams, mussels, red meat, legumes and nuts (to avoid anemia).
  • Hydrate properly, which will also help prevent constipation.
  • Eating little, but frequently, not lying down right after eating and avoiding fatty and spicy foods will help to avoid digestive discomfort.
  • Exercise adapted to pregnancy, as long as it has not been contraindicated by a specialist. It will help improve intestinal transit and prevent swelling of the ankles and legs, among its many benefits.
  • Use caution with sun exposure and use sunscreen to avoid dark spots on the skin.
  • Move carefully, without making sudden movements, and ask for help to do certain things that are now difficult for the pregnant woman.
  • Follow the specialist's instructions about weight control during pregnancy.

These tips will serve to alleviate some of the most common discomforts of pregnancy, so that women can try to enjoy this special period.

FAQs from users

What is week 24 of pregnancy like in a twin pregnancy?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

In a twin or multiple pregnancy, the second trimester analysis is also carried out at week 24, as in single gestations.

In this analysis, it is especially important to assess whether the pregnant woman has iron deficiency anaemia (caused by iron deficiency), as the risk is greater than in single pregnancies. For this reason, it is very common for the specialist to recommend iron supplementation if the woman is pregnant with twins. Anaemia can produce symptoms in women such as paleness, tiredness, weakness and even dizziness.

The woman will also be given a glucose test or O'Sullivan test to assess her risk of developing gestational diabetes.

In the 24th week of pregnancy, the woman will notice quite intensely how both babies move, although it is possible that they do not move at the same time.

Finally, certain common symptoms of pregnancy may be increased compared to singleton pregnancies, such as fluid retention and swelling.

Is 24 weeks of pregnancy a good time for a 4D ultrasound?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

A 4D ultrasound is not one of the usual pregnancy monitoring ultrasounds, but is an ultrasound that is usually done just to see the baby's features.

When it is performed, it is usually expected at 26-30 weeks of pregnancy, around week 28, but it could be performed between weeks 25 to 32.

It is not recommended after this week, as fetal size and decreased amniotic fluid may make imaging difficult.

What is the position of the baby in the 24th week of pregnancy?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

In the 24th week of pregnancy the baby still has a lot of freedom of movement inside the uterus, so it moves, turns and can change position several times.

It will not be until about 28-32 weeks that the baby adopts the so-called cephalic position, with the head facing the maternal pelvis and the birth canal. However, 3-4% of babies will be breech (breech position) by the end of pregnancy.

Suggested for you

If you are 24 weeks pregnant, you may be interested to know what will happen in the next week of pregnancy. You can do it here: Week 25 of pregnancy.

On the other hand, when taking the O'Sullivan test, you may be concerned about whether you have gestational diabetes. If you would like to learn more about this condition during pregnancy, we recommend you visit the following link: What is gestational diabetes - Causes, symptoms and treatment.

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FAQs from users: 'What is week 24 of pregnancy like in a twin pregnancy?', 'Is 24 weeks of pregnancy a good time for a 4D ultrasound?' and 'What is the position of the baby in the 24th week of pregnancy?'.

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 Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Graduate in Health Biology from the University of Alcalá and specialized in Clinical Genetics from the same university. Master in Assisted Reproduction by the University of Valencia in collaboration with IVI clinics. More information about Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
License: 3435-CV

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