At 24 weeks pregnant both you and your baby are going through a lot of changes.
At this stage in your pregnancy you should be preparing yourself for a gestational diabetes test. Gestational diabetes is something that will only impact pregnant women and it can often develop during the second or third trimester.
This is a condition that causes high blood sugar and can impact your physical and emotional wellbeing. It is very important that you do not miss your gestational diabetes test so you will know the best way to take care of yourself.
At 24 weeks, your baby will be developing surfactant so they will be able to use their lungs to breathe. Their organs are becoming ready to support this growing human.
How Big Is My Baby?
At 24 weeks your baby will roughly be around 11.8 inches long and can weigh around 1.3 pounds.
For reference, this is about the size of a Mr. Potato Head toy.
Your Baby’s Development At This Stage
At 24 weeks your baby is going through a lot of interesting developments and this is something that is only going to continue throughout your pregnancy.
During this stage of pregnancy, your baby will be developing bone marrow which will help make blood cells and generally keep their body in a healthy balance.
There are some other key developments happening at this stage that you should be aware of including:
- Lung Development
During this week, your baby is developing a special protein called surfactant. This is something that you might not have heard of, but it is very important for our lungs and overall health.
This fatty substance opens the air sacs in the lungs which makes it possible for us to breathe.
At 24 weeks, your baby will start to develop this protein so they can start to use their lungs. This is process that will continue and they will develop more of it at 35 weeks.
Premature babies will be given an artificial surfactant that has been specially developed by scientists to help them breathe and aid their small organs.
- Nostril Development
At this point in pregnancy, your baby will be developing nostrils.
These small holes will be opening so your child can start practicing breathing while they are inside of you.
During this stage, they will be trying to breathe amniotic fluid (which is what they are living in) as a sort of practice for when they make it into the world.
- Inner Ear Development
During this week, your baby is also developing their vestibular system.
This is a tiny system within the inner ear that actually helps us with balance. Once your baby has developed this part of their body, they will be able to tell what position they are in and whether they are the right side up or upside down.
Your Body At 24 Weeks
At 24 weeks you will need to prepare yourself for the big gestational diabetes test. This is a test that will indicate whether you have a specific kind of diabetes that will only develop in pregnant women.
It is likely that you will also be experiencing some new aches and pains during this stage of pregnancy, as well as:
- Red And/Or Tender Gums
Pregnancy hormones can do a lot to your body and they can even affect your gums at this stage.
You may find that your gums feel more sensitive at 24 weeks, but it is very important that you continue to brush twice a day and floss regularly.
This may be a good time for you to see your dentist for a checkup just to make sure that it is only the hormones that are causing issues in your mouth. Even while you are pregnant it is safe to see the dentist, as long as you inform them beforehand.
You shouldn’t miss your six-month checkup even when you are having a baby.
- Leg Cramps
Painful leg cramps are very common during the second stage of pregnancy and it is something most women experience at this stage.
These can sometimes interfere with your sleep, so you will need to take some time trying to ease them. Try stretching, mild exercise, and massages to ease the pain in your legs.
It is also very important that you keep yourself hydrated at all times, as this can seriously impact the aches and pains you experience when pregnant.
- Bad Back
A huge majority of pregnant women will experience back pain so this is something you will have been expecting for a long time.
There are a lot of different triggers for back pain, including pregnancy hormones that loosen your joints, gaining weight, and your uterus pushing against your spine.
You will find that your posture is off during this stage, which can make the back pain worse.
How To Prepare For Gestational Diabetes Test
At this stage in pregnancy you will have to undergo a glucose screening test to see whether you have gestational diabetes.
There are no real noticeable symptoms of this kind of diabetes but it does mean that you will have high blood sugar levels. This is something that you cannot really determine on your own, so you will need to get tested.
Treatment for this kind of diabetes can prevent a lot of issues, including high birth weight and preterm labor.
What Is The Test Like?
When you go to the doctor’s for a gestational diabetes test, you will have to down a really sweet drink. This will contain 50 grams (1.7 oz) of glucose.
You will then have to wait three hours for this to get into your system.
After this time, the doctor will draw blood from you to see how your body has processed the glucose.
You should always follow your doctors’ advice when undergoing tests, but here are some of the things that they will recommend:
- Start fasting the night before for an accurate reading
- Try to schedule an early appointment and have a late dinner the day before so you do not cheat the fasting
- Make sure to bring some kind of entertainment for the three hours you will have to wait
- Bring a snack or go out to eat once your test has been done