This month continues to be a period of rapid growth.
At 24 weeks, your baby can suck his thumb and you may feel baby hiccup. He will have patterns of sleep and activity which you will come to know. His skin has lost its translucent appearance, but he still has not laid down any stores of fat and is therefore quite thin.
Your baby’s skin is wrinkled and red. It is covered with lanugo (fine, soft hair) and vernix (a substance consisting of oil, sloughed skin cells and lanugo). Real hair and toenails are beginning to grow.
Your baby’s brain is developing rapidly. Fatty sheaths which transmit electrical impulses along nerves are forming. Meconium, your baby’s first stool, is developing. A special type of fat (brown fat) that keeps your baby warm at birth is forming.
Baby girls will develop eggs in their ovaries during this month. The baby’s bones are becoming solid. Your baby is almost fully formed and looks like a miniature human. However, because the lungs are not well developed and the baby is still very small, a baby cannot usually live outside the uterus at this stage without highly specialized care.
By the end of the sixth month, your baby will be around 11 to 14 inches (28 to 35 centimeters) long and will weigh about 1 to 1.6 pounds (500 to 750 grams).
You are now visibly pregnant. You will gain weight around this time, and you may feel overheated and sweaty as your blood supply increases. Your face may look flushed as well. Your heart and lungs are working 50% harder than normal. You may have some pain in your ribcage as the baby begins to press upwards. Shortness of breath may follow for the same reason. As your pregnancy progresses, it is important to maintain correct posture and protect your feet and joints. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, rest with your feet up, and continue your antenatal exercises.