Pregnancy Week 24 – The Baby’s Progress

Pregnancy week 24 begins the crucial ‘hump’ time (weeks 24-30) that every woman wants to see through to ensure her baby’s survival outside of the womb should they be born prematurely. The survival rate for a 24 week fetus is very low (less than 20%) but is still termed as legally viable as they could survive given intensive neonatal care, even though the chances of suffering a physical or mental disability remain high.


Pregnancy at 24 Weeks

Therefore, a baby born after week 24 will go down as a registered birth (even if they are stillborn) and a baby born before would still be classed as a miscarriage. By 26 weeks, (the official start of your final trimester) there is a day by day increase in lung maturity and a reduced risk of other complications, increasing the fetal viability rate by 3% with each passing day until it reaches around 80-90% by week 30. Male infants may be considered more at risk as they are slightly less matured at each pregnancy stage than the female.

Her eyelids are still closed to protect her growing eyes although they are now developing color. She will be experiencing Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and will be able to see bright sunlight as a dim red haze. All babies are born with blue eyes, it is not until a few weeks after birth that the pigment begins to mature once it is exposed to natural light.

Your 24 week fetus has a spinal backbone that now has 150 joints which are continuing to solidify and her developed heart is beating at around 160 beats a minute. Her brain has the brainwave patterns similar to those of a newborn infant although it still does not completely fill the skull cavity. Your baby will now experience a huge growth spurt between weeks 24-28 where she will practically double in size from 8-16” and this is when your baby will bypass the size of her placenta.

Your baby’s actual size around pregnancy week 24 will be approximately 8” (20.3cm) from crown to rump and weight around 1.5 lbs (680g). Your fundus will be fully rounded now and will simply increase in size as it moves higher up towards your ribcage. You will experience the most rapid weight gain in the next 4 weeks but if you are already feeling heavy, with an enormous appetite, then now is the time to increase your walking or swimming in order to use up any excess calories you may have as now is not the time to diet.

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(See 24 Weeks Pregnant – The Mother’s Progress)

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