Tommy's PregnancyHub

24 weeks pregnant - all you need to know

Your baby is now about the size of a corn on the cob.
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What does my baby look like? 

Have you noticed they are getting into a pattern of sleeping and waking? When you're in bed at night, feeling relaxed and trying to sleep, you might find they're wide awake and wriggling.

Your baby is now said to be ‘viable’. This means that there is a chance that they would survive if they were born now, even though it is still very early.

A baby born at this stage would need a lot of help in the neonatal unit, as their body is still very immature and not ready to cope in the outside world yet.

Your pregnancy symptoms in week 23

More vaginal discharge?

A slight increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy is totally normal, especially if the weather is hot. You may find that it’s a mild-smelling, milky fluid, which is fine.

However, if it is smelly, itchy or a yellowy-greenish colour, contact your doctor or midwife as you may have an infection that needs to be treated. If the discharge is heavy, use a sanitary pad, not a tampon.

What to do in week 24

Take the whooping cough vaccination

You’ll be offered a whooping cough vaccination to boost your levels of antibodies, which will then be passed on to your baby for protection. 

There's a lot of whooping cough (pertussis) around and babies cannot have vaccinations too young, which puts them at risk.

Young babies with whooping cough are often very unwell and most will be admitted to hospital because of their illness. When whooping cough is particularly severe, they can die. 

The best time to get vaccinated to protect your baby is from week 16 up to 32 weeks of pregnancy. You can have the vaccine anytime from 16 weeks but if you have it after 38 weeks it may be less effective.

Research into the vaccine has shown that it’s very safe, with no ill-effects for pregnant women or their babies.

Living with pelvic girdle pain (PGP)?

If you’re suffering with PGP, try different exercises until you find one that works. Some women say cycling causes no pain while walking is very painful, others recommend swimming or aquanatal exercises.

If you’re swimming, avoid the breast stroke as this is likely to cause more pain. The key thing to remember is to stop any activity that causes pain.

“Once a week I went to an antenatal exercise class run by two midwives. They helped me to adapt certain moves to accommodate my SPD (symphysis pelvic dysfunction).”

Laura, mum of two

Keep up the calcium

Make sure your diet is rich in calcium, as this is good for your baby’s bone development. Calcium is found in dairy products, oranges, nuts, pulses and broccoli. You should also be taking 10mcg of vitamin D a day in pregnancy, which helps with calcium absorption.

Looking after your mental wellbeing

Wherever you are in your pregnancy, it's important to focus on your own wellbeing as well as the baby's. That's why we've created a tool to help you make a Wellbeing Plan, which will help you feel good now and be supported after the birth. Complete your pregnancy and post-birth wellbeing plan today.

  1. NHS Choices. You and your baby at 21–24 weeks pregnanthttp://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-21-22-23-24.aspx (Page last reviewed: 28/02/2017 Next review due: 28/02/2020).
  2. MedlinePlus Calcium and bones http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002062.htm  (Page last reviewed June 2018).
  3. NHS Choices. Vitamins and minerals http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-D.aspx (Page last reviewed: 03/03/2017 Next review due: 03/03/2020). 
  4. PHE (2017) Whooping cough and pregnancy. Public Health England. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/624265/WhoopingCough_A5_booklet.pdf 
Review dates

Last reviewed: 27 June, 2018
Next review: 27 June, 2021