24 weeks 


Highlights this week

Pregnancy glow

The pregnancy glow you've likely heard so much about isn't a myth. Changing hormones, above-average oil production, and increased blood flow can make your skin look flushed, shiny, and even radiant.

Unusual baby names

If you're not jazzed about the most popular baby names, check out these uncommon and unusual baby names – Golden, Zen, Ajax, Booker, and more.


Feeling a strong urge to clean and organize your home? You're probably nesting. Preparing your "nest" for a new baby is an instinct common in humans and animals.

Baby development at 24 weeks

Your baby's lungs

Respiratory sacs at the tips of the smallest branches of your baby's lungs are growing and multiplying, adding more surface area for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Gaining weight

Your baby cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but their body is filling out proportionally, and soon they'll start to plump up. Their skin is still thin and translucent.

Raising an eyebrow

Tiny eyebrows grew on your baby's face just a few weeks ago. Now your baby may practice working their facial muscles and raising them.

Having twins?

Learn more about being 24 weeks pregnant with twins.

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Your baby at 24 weeks
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Your baby is about the size of an ear of corn

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head to toe
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Pregnancy symptoms during week 24


If you're experiencing new skin symptoms, like itchiness, hyperpigmentation, raised bumps, or hives, check in with your doctor or midwife. Most rashes during pregnancy are related to allergies, contact dermatitis (contact with an irritant), or skin infections – they're not caused by pregnancy. But a few pregnancy conditions do cause rashes and intense itching: atopic eruption of pregnancy (AEP), pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP), and pemphigoid gestationis.


During the second trimester, some women experience spotting or light bleeding during pregnancy. This could be caused by changes to your cervix, inflammation, or a benign cervical polyp. Spotting during the second trimester is typically harmless. However, if you experience regular, heavier bleeding, seek medical attention right away.

Mood swings

Dramatic mood swings may have faded at 24 weeks pregnant – but it's perfectly normal to have them during the second trimester. Hormonal changes, stress, fatigue, discomfort, and exhaustion can all lead to heightened emotions. If your mood swings are becoming more frequent or more intense, or if they last longer than two weeks, talk to your provider and ask for a referral to a therapist. You may be battling depression during pregnancy or pregnancy anxiety.

Shortness of breath

Feeling short of breath is common during pregnancy. Pregnant women have an increased need for oxygen, and may feel breathless if their blood pressure is higher during pregnancy or if they have excess amniotic fluid. Changing hormones can also cause a feeling of breathlessness because of the effects progesterone has on your lungs and the respiratory center in your brain. While slight shortness of breath is normal during pregnancy, struggling to breathe, a persistent cough, and chest pain are all signals to seek immediate medical care.

Increased appetite

Noticing an increased appetite? In the second trimester, you may feel hungrier than ever before. It's only natural: You need more calories and nutrients now to support your growing baby and your changing body. During the second trimester, most pregnant women need around 350 additional calories each day. If you're concerned about gaining too much weight, focus on the quality of the food you're eating and choose healthy snacks. Foods with plenty of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs will help you feel satisfied longer than packaged food and simple carbohydrates.


Hormonal changes trigger an increase in melanin production during pregnancy. For some women, this will cause dark patches of skin called melasma. These splotches most often appear on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and forearms. Areas of your skin that are typically darker – like the areolas (area around your nipples) and labia – could appear darker during pregnancy, too. For most women, melasma goes away after birth. But to minimize it on your face and arms during pregnancy, use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day or cover your skin with long sleeves and a hat.

Don't see your symptom?

Wondering about a symptom you have? Find it on our pregnancy symptoms page.

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baby in belly at 24 weeks
Your body at 24 weeks
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Pregnancy checklist at 24 weeks

Know the signs of preterm labor

Read up on signs of preterm labor, just in case. Call your doctor or midwife immediately if you have unusual discharge, vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, pelvic pressure, low back pain, or leaking fluid (which could be amniotic fluid, meaning your water has broken). About 10 percent of babies in the United States are born prematurely. "Micropreemies" born at 24 weeks need lots of medical attention, but have a good chance of survival thanks to medical advances.

Get your home baby-ready

In addition to organizing, cleaning, and preparing your baby's space, think about safety – our babyproofing checklist is a good place to start. Since you've got a while before your little one is one the move, start with the basics.

Making sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order is a great first step. If you live in a home built before the year 1978, there may be a risk of lead exposure. Your state or local health department may perform lead testing, possibly for free, or can refer you to a qualified professional.

Next, you can get started on babyproofing the areas where your baby will spend the most time. Secure window blind cords, cover outlets with protectors, and attach furniture and TVs to the walls so they can't tip over. Put locks on cabinets where you store items that could harm your baby (like cleaning products).

Consider cord blood banking

Cord blood banking involves collecting the blood left in your newborn's umbilical cord and placenta following birth and storing it for future medical use. If you want to collect and store your baby's cord blood at birth, or donate it, you'll need to make arrangements soon.

Get ready for your glucose screening

Your provider will probably schedule your glucose screening between 24 and 28 weeks. This routine test monitors for gestational diabetes, which affects an estimated 2 to 10 percent of pregnant women. During the screening, you'll be asked to drink a sugary drink (often described as being like flat, syrupy orange soda). After a short window of time, you'll have your blood drawn and tested for abnormal glucose levels. This initial screening isn't diagnostic. Instead, the results will indicate whether you need further testing for gestational diabetes.

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24 weeks pregnant bellies

Your uterus is now about the size of a soccer ball, and the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button. During your second trimester, you can take care of your changing skin by making sure your skincare products are safe for pregnancy. Avoid retinols, and limit salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids in makeup and skincare products. Always ask your provider if you have any concerns about caring for your skin while you're expecting. As always, it's wise to wear pregnancy-safe sunscreen every day – even when you're not spending much time in the sun. You might be noticing stretch marks on your stomach, thighs, and breasts now. Most of the time, you can't prevent these "badges of motherhood." However, they often fade with time.

24 weeks pregnant bellies

This week's video



BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

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Cleveland Clinic. 2020. Fetal Development: Stages of Growth. a new window [Accessed May 2022]

Mayo Clinic. 2021. Fetal development: The 2nd trimester. a new window [Accessed May 2022]

MedlinePlus (ADAM). 2019. Fetal development. a new window [Accessed May 2022]

Hadlock FP et al. 1991. In utero analysis of fetal growth: A sonographic weight standard. Radiology 181 (1). a new window [Accessed May 2022]

Hadlock FP et al. 1992. Fetal cross-rump length: Reevaluation of relation to menstrual age (5-18 weeks) with high-resolution real-time US. Radiology 182: 5-1-505. a new window [Accessed May 2022]

Vintzileos AM et al. 1984. The ultrasound femur length as a predictor of fetal length. Obstetrics & Gynecology 64(6): 779-82. a new window [Accessed May 2022]

Hadlock FP 1984. Estimating fetal age: Computer-assisted analysis of multiple fetal growth parameters. Radiology 152: 497-501. a new window [Accessed May 2022]

Mary Sauer

Mary Sauer is a freelance parenting and health writer living in Kansas City. She is a mom of four and loves to hike with her kids, read, and knit. Cooking a complicated meal her kids probably won't eat is one of her favorite pastimes.

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