By 24 weeks pregnant your baby will be starting to put on some fat and will be becoming less wrinkled.
By 26 weeks your baby will be blinking and may be able to detect light through your tummy! He or she may move in response to a bright light such as a torch or the sun shinning on your tummy.
By 27 weeks she may recognise your voice or your partner’s, and wriggle to indicate this.
By 28 weeks your baby will be about 35 cm long and may start to experience hiccups. You will feel these in the form of rhythmic little jolts inside you. They are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
This is the start of your final trimester!
At 24 weeks your pregnancy becomes “viable”. For some women this week will pass without remark but for many it is a big milestone as it means that if the baby were to be born after this date, the likelihood of it surviving is much higher than a baby born before this time.
If this is your first baby then you will have an appointment between 25 and 26 weeks. She will take your blood pressure, measure your bump, listen to the baby’s heart beat, check your urine for UTIs and generally check you are ok and answer any questions you might have
You will have another appointment with your midwife or consultant appointment between 26-28 weeks where you will have more blood tests for Anaemia, Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). and Gestational Diabetes (a form of diabetes that can occur as a result of pregnancy) If any of these are found, you will be given appropriate treatment.
For anaemia you will be given Iron tablets. Beware! These iron tablets can cause constipation soif you are prone to this, it is a good idea to ask your doctor to prescribe you some Fybogel or other mild laxative to counter this effect.
For Gestational Diabetes, you will be referred to a dietician and advised to control the carbohydrates in your diet and the effects of this will be monitored. If you are unable to bring your blood sugar levels down through diet alone, you may be required to inject yourself with insulin to control this.
UTIs will be treated with antibiotics which are perfectly safe to take during pregnancy.
The Baby’s Movement
The baby should now be moving regularly everyday. Different doctors and midwives will have different ways in which they suggest you monitor the movements (such as a certain number of movements per day or per hour) but you may start to notice some kind of pattern in kicks or movement. For example it may be more active in the morning or the afternoon or evenings. But every baby is different and whilst some babies wriggle around all day long, others are more sedate in the womb. If your pregnancy is normal then “monitoring” as such is not needed, just a general awareness of movement. We advise that you use your judgement in deciding if the baby has kicked enough that day. If you have not felt the baby move for 24 hours and you genuinely feel concerned, then call your midwife or consultant and they will get you to come in and see them so that they can check the fetal heart rate and reassure you.
Many women remark that they do not feel the baby move much during a busy day and only notice movements when they are relaxed at home with their feet up! This makes perfect sense if you have a busy job at work or at home looking after other children.
If it has not already been bothering you, heartburn or indigestion may start to become an issue for you as you and your baby get bigger. Haemorrhoids may also start to bother you, especially if you become constipated.
If you have not already experienced problems with sleeping this could well start now. Even if your bump is not big and uncomfortable, you may find yourself lying awake at night for no particular reason. It is quite normal to have a disturbance of your sleep in late pregnancy and some people cite this as practise for what is ahead!
You may find that you breasts start to leak a yellow milky or creamy fluid. This is nothing to be alarmed about and is perfectly normal. Simply buy some breast pads designed for breastfeeding and slip them into your bra in the morning or before you go to bed. Make sure you get some breastpads that are a good shape and very soft, some of the super market and big chemist brands have a plastic backing which can make you sweat and feel uncomfortable. You may want to start wearing a bra to bed if your nipples are leaking or if they are very sore and much bigger than usual. A soft crop top or maternity bra is ideal
You may start to feel uncomfortable in the evenings especially if you suffer from wind or indigestion. After a full days work and a big meal – you may find it hard to get comfortable on the sofa. Sitting upright at the dining table after a meal, or sitting on a yoga/exercise ball can be helpful, as is eating smaller meals more often, if this is practical.