24 Weeks Pregnant

What’s happening this week

Your baby…

  • measures about 21 cm
  • weighs about 765 grams
  • has well developed hearing and will be listening to your voice and the beat of your heart
  • has lungs that are preparing to breathe air rather than fluid
  • if your baby was born this week it may be possible he could survive (with expert medical care).

You…

  • the placenta becomes thicker rather than wider
  • nose bleeds can sometimes occur (due to nasal congestion and the increased blood volume)
  • may feel off balance and clumsy as your centre of gravity continues to shift
  • may need to see a dentist if your gums are giving your problems.

For most women there are many more weeks of pregnancy to go… so we offer more tips for those discomforts of pregnancy, and ask are you eating well?

Sort those aches and pains

ProblemWhat causes it?What can you do?Talk to your LMC ....
Varicose VeinsPregnancy hormones make the veins in your legs weaker, so the blood pools and the veins swellAvoid standing for long periods; sit down or walk around if you can. Wear support tights, from first thing in the morningIf they become very hot and uncomfortable
HeartburnThe muscle at the of the stomach tends not to close properly ... those pregnancy hormones again!`Try to eat small, frequent meals. Avoid spicy food if it makes it worse. Drink water or milk when you get the burning feeling. Sleep propped up on pillowsIf you need a remedy to help you cope, over-the-counter medicines work well, but your LMC can advise which are safe to use
Leg crampsNo-one is quite sure, although some experts think it is a lack of the of the mineral potassium, and that extra calcium ni the diet can help prevent itEat bananas, high in potassium, and milk, leafy green vegetables and oranges for calcium. If you get cramp, massage the leg firmly, or put your bare foot on a cold floor.If it's a frequent problem, for individual advice on how to ease them
Wrist PainsFulid retention in the wrists puts pressure on the nerves causing a tingling feeling or numbness in the hands (called 'carpal tunnel syndrome'). It usually gets better after the baby is bornRaise your arm on a cushion when you are sitting reading or watching TV. If your hands are tingly when you wake up, raise your hands and wriggle your fingersIf you have the numbness a lot of the time and it's very uncomfortable wearing a splint at night may help
Swollen hands, feet and anklesExtra fluid in your systemRest with your feet up to heart level whenever you can. Avoid tight-fitting shoes and socks that cut in around the ankles. Wear support tights. Remove tight fitting ringsOr your doctor straight away if your face becomes swollen and you bein to get headaches - together they may signal pre-eclampsia
Abddominal painThe ligaments, which support your uterus, stretching as your baby growsTry a warm bath with six drops of lavendar oil, and then massage your abdomen with body lotionIf the pains don't gradually fade

No meat? No problem!

Most vegetarians are wised up when it comes to a balanced diet. Vegetarians do not need extra protein in pregnancy, especially if their diet includes ordinary products and/or eggs. The following ideas would work well as vegetarian snacks:

  • scatter some sunflower seeds and nuts on your breakfast cereal
  • sprinkle grated cheese on top of beans on toast
  • make a ‘smoothie’ with milk (or soya milk), yoghurt and fresh fruits whizzed together in a blender
  • have dip with vegetable sticks as a lunchtime snack.

If you are a vegan and eat no animal products at all, you need to take care to mix the right plant foods to obtain all the amino acids you need. You need to ensure that you get quality protein from wholegrains (bread, flour, rice), dairy nuts, seeds, pulses, soya flour, soya milk and tofu. For example, mix cereals with pulses:

  • beans on toast
  • rice and lentils.

Include nuts, seeds, plant milks and textured vegetable proteins and tofu cheese in your diet.

Make sure you are getting enough:

Calcium
By eating soya, tofu, almonds, sunflower seeds, leafy green vegetables, Brazil nuts, chick peas, sesame seeds, soya beans, fortified soya milk and products made from this.

Iron
By eating leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, lentils, wholegrains and nuts. Make sure you have some vitamin C with meals (orange juice is a good source) so your body can absorb the iron more easily.

Zinc
by eating wholegrains, pulses, lentils, pumpkin seeds, wholemeal pasta and Brazil nuts. Zinc is important for a healthy immune system.

B12
Marmite/Vegemite are a good source. Have some on bread or toast or add a spoonful to soups and casseroles just before serving.