Your precious baby is roughly 8.5 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 1.5 pounds. This puts your little one at about the size of a cantaloupe! Weight gain will continue at approximately six ounces per week until birth weight is achieved. The weight gain comes from developing bones, muscles, and organs, as well as the slowly accumulating baby fat that will develop soon.
Due to the lack of fatty deposits, baby’s skin is still a pronounced shade of pink. It will maintain this shade until the deposits form and provide a barrier between the skin and the blood vessels. Speaking of color, your baby’s hair continues to lack pigment. Everything from the hair on the head to the eyelashes remain a pigment-less shade of white.
Brain development has nearly reached newborn development. Your child’s brain cells have developed to the point of conscious thought. That means baby is even able to develop memories. The developing auditory system will play a pivotal role in these memories. In fact, a song that is played often while the baby is in the womb can comfort the baby later one, so make sure you’re listening to songs that you’re prepared to hear on a permanent loop. Other familiar sounds such as your heartbeat and the voices of the parents will also bring comfort so there’s some hope to get that catchy tune out of your head. Many babies respond to ambient noises that they heard while in the womb so cue the soundboard!
At 24 weeks, you can expect your doctor to order a blood glucose test to see how your body is processing sugar. You’ll be asked to drink a sweet substance called Glucola and then to hang around for an hour so bring a book or tablet. When the hour is up, they’ll draw your blood to test for gestational diabetes. A positive test doesn’t necessarily mean you have gestational diabetes but the test is vital to determine your risks for vaginal birth. Unchecked, the condition can cause a lot of trouble for you and baby but with up to ten percent of the population experiencing gestational diabetes, doctors can make sure you’re both safe throughout the duration of the pregnancy. Fortunately, the problem goes away after delivery but mothers who have had it before are more prone to experience it again.
If you are experiencing achy pain or numbing sensations in your wrists you can thank your pregnancy for that. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is typically caused by repetitive motions, such as typing, but in this instance it’s not the case (although it can aggravate it). The same swelling that is likely going on around your ankles can cause Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in pregnant women. Fluid builds up around your extremities and when you lay down that fluid redistributes. The fluid can press against your nerves, causing the same symptoms and discomfort. To alleviate discomfort, try sleeping with your hands slightly raised. Take frequent stretch breaks and wear a wrist brace if problems persist.
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