Pregnancy week by week: Week 24

Pregnancy week by week: Week 24

Your baby still has plenty of space to move around in your belly, as it weighs less than a kilogram. However, should you go into premature labor, your baby is actually considered to be viable outside of the womb – so you’re reaching an important milestone this week.

Plenty of room

Now that you are more than halfway through your pregnancy, your baby is really starting to look like a fully formed newborn baby. The baby still has plenty of room to move around, which is good because it’s really testing all those muscles and reflexes this week.

By the end of week 24 of your pregnancy, your baby measures 31 centimetres from head to toe and weighs around 790 grams.

Premature birth

From around weeks 24-25 in your pregnancy, your baby is considered to be viable on its own – it would require intensive neonatal care, but the baby could survive outside of the womb should you go into early labor. The survival rate for premature babies born in week 24 is around 42-59%; after week 28, 90+% of premature babies survive, so in case you were worried, just know that the statistics are only in your favour going forwards.

Worldwide, around 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely every year, but this covers all three degrees of prematurity, which are:

  • Extremely premature (less than 28 weeks)
  • Very preterm (28 to 32 weeks)
  • Moderate to late preterm (32 to 37 weeks)

So even babies born in week 36 are also included in this statistic, but there is no reason at all to be worried about going into labor as late as week 36.

How do you prepare older siblings for the new baby?

If this isn’t your first rodeo, there is at least one older sibling that needs to be prepared for the baby brother or sister that’s about to come in and change their life. Going from an only child to a big brother or sister can be challenging and filled with mixed feelings of excitement and jealousy. The thought of having to suddenly share mum and dad’s attention is not pleasant, so make sure to explain to the older sibling that love is infinite – there’s more than enough for both them and the new baby.

Involve them in the pregnancy: Make drawings for their new little brother or sister, let them feel the kicks in your belly and sing songs for the baby, telling them that their younger sibling will then know their voice. You could even bring them to an ultrasound appointment to see the baby and listen to the heartbeat.

Above all: a new baby takes a lot of time and attention, but make sure to still spend quality time alone with the older sibling. Just an hour with your undivided attention will make their day.

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