Pregnancy Articles

Week 24: Your Baby is Listening

Your Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy

Your Baby This Week

Your baby is getting heavier to carry, and you may feel the stress. At the same time, you may experience profound joy, knowing your little one is growing healthy and strong!

Your bundle of joy is looking more angelic every day, gaining weight (she's more than 16 ounces or .45 kg), growing longer (over 8 inches or 20 cm) and filling out! Your baby is also starting to produce white blood cells, which will help fight infection after she leaves your body and enters the world. You may be surprised to notice that your baby responds to the sound of your voice or even the touch of your hand on your tummy by quieting down or occasionally increasing activity as a way of communicating with you!

Your Body This Week

You weight gain is beginning to accelerate to about one pound (.45 kg) per week, so symptoms like lower back pain and swollen feet may increase. Periodically resting for 15 to 20 minutes can help. Beginning this week, your health care provider will start monitoring you for gestational diabetes (high blood sugar levels during pregnancy). If you are gaining a lot of weight, blood testing is imperative, as excessive weight gain is typically a symptom. Some women also report feeling some depression around this time. While feelings of sadness usually pass within a few weeks, talk to your caregiver if they don't.

The Magic of Water

Headaches, constipation, hemorrhoids, uterine cramping, heartburn, nausea, bladder infection--ah, the joys of pregnancy. Wouldn't it be lovely if a specially-blended cure-all could wash away all of your ailments? Although it sounds too good to be true, water can alleviate these problems--and do more for your health than just about anything else you could eat or drink. To prevent these symptoms, and to regulate body temperature and amniotic fluid levels, pregnant women should consume a minimum of 8 to 12 cups of water each day. And that's not all that water can do for you.

The Safety You Can Find in Strength

During a normal pregnancy (i.e., not high risk), you should be able to carry a reasonable amount of weight (a small child, groceries, etc.) without any concern for your baby's safety and health. Forget that old wives' tale that you can't carry more than 10 pounds. You should also be able to enjoy the benefits of strength training. With some safety precautions, using small weights, resistance bands and your own body weight during workouts can help you get ready for the extra demands of delivery, recovery and taking care of your brand new bundle of love. Introduce yourself to a special kind of strength training.
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