24 Weeks Pregnant

You are now the mother of a cantaloupe-size baby. This week, your baby reached about  1, 1/3 pounds and 8 inches long. He will fatten up slowly. His baby face is fully developed.

How the baby is developing at 24 weeks

Interestingly enough, the brain of your baby is almost as mature as a newborn. This means that his memory is active. Also, the auditory system developed even more allowing your baby to recognize the songs played often, to hear the voice of his parents and loud noises.

The baby’s skin is still translucent but as your baby will fatten up, the skin will become opaque. The pigment has not yet developed so it is difficult to tell if your baby will be blonde, brunette or ginger. However, the face of your baby is almost fully formed having eyelashes, eyebrows and hair.

Furthermore, the respiratory system of your baby starts to develop branches that discharge a substance that will help him breathe once he faces the outside world.

Your lifestyle and pregnancy symptoms at 24 weeks

Your belly is now the size of a football oval and rose 2 inches above your belly button. Your skin stretches more over the abdomen and chest, causing it to become dry and itchy. You can also experience dry eyes or blurred vision, which is common in pregnant women. Still, mentioning them to your doctor is of most importance.

You will have to deal with swollen ankles and feet so make sure you lift your legs up on a pillow. The back pains will not give you a break and leg cramps may appear in case of dehydration.

Keeping yourself hydrated is even more important during pregnancy.

Scan appointments at 24 weeks

If you have managed to control your desire of finding the baby’s gender, so far, but you are starting to give up, you have the chance to get a gender scan at 24 weeks.

Moreover, you can check your baby’s health and growing rate with a growth scan.

You can also get a 3D scan in order to get an image of your baby’s development.

 

 

23 weeks pregnant

You are starting your 6th month of pregnancy and believe it or not, your baby can tango. Most senses are active by now and your baby has the skinny shape of a mini person; something bigger than a Smurf, about the size of a papaya fruit.

How the baby is developing at 23 weeks

At 23 weeks, your baby is sitting in your uterus like a king on his throne. His ears are fully developed so he can hear and react to loud noises such as a barking. If you turn up the stereo and dance, your baby will perceive that and will rock it, too. His eyes are fully formed, except that they do not have a colour yet. From this point on, he will also start to bulk up a bit. By now, he is finally 1 pound and about 11 to 14 inches. His skin is red and wrinkled.

Your lifestyle and pregnancy symptoms at 23 week

This is the time to prepare your maternity leave and finish with the stress of work and papers. However, if you still want to work you can do that, but make sure you keep yourself hydrated. Drinking water is very important during pregnancy. You can also drink milk, which hydrates you better than water.

Being 23 weeks pregnant, you start to fatten up faster, so make sure you eat nutritious food that quenches your hunger and cravings.

Your growing belly starts to put pressure on your back and you may start to experience back pains. Make sure you sit comfortably at home or at work. Another part of your body that feels the pressure is the legs. Stretch them or put them up on a pillow when you lay down in order to avoid the painful swelling. Reducing the use of heels and walking with comfortable shoes is of most importance now.

You will observe that your body starts to widen and an odd line appears on your belly, below the belly button. That is the linea nigra. The pregnancy hormones change the shades of your skin, darkening them. They are also guilty for linea nigra, which before your pregnancy was just a normal line between your belly button and pubic area. Do not worry; this line will fade slowly after your baby is born.

Scan appointments at 23 weeks

If you have not seen your baby at 22 weeks, this is the right time to make an appointment for a growth scan. This way you will be able to see the mini human developing in your womb and your doctor will check the health of your baby. With the growth scan, your baby’s tummy, head and legs will be measured to make sure he is growing up in tip-top condition.

 

22 Weeks pregnant

You are in the middle of the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, between five and six months and you carry now a living spaghetti squash. That is the size of your baby. Your belly starts to shape up and announce the glorious development of your baby. With a growth scan, you can look at your miniature human.

How the baby is developing at 22 weeks

At 22 weeks, your baby is about 11 inches long and its brain starts to grow at a rapid rate. In its 5th month of existence, the organ system starts to define its functionalities. Also, the fingernails are fully grown and the shape of its lips is clearly visible. Even more, its first teeth are developing under the gums, deep wrinkles and lanugo hair cover her baby skin.

Your baby has now a sleeping schedule and your movements can wake her up. Her tongue develops tasting buds and the weekly weight has increased with around 60-70 grams. From now on, your baby perceives your voice and loud noises.

Your lifestyle and pregnancy symptoms at the 22nd week

Even though your pregnancy is becoming more and more visible, at 22 weeks you can still bend and sit comfortably. You might develop stretch marks, which appear because your belly expands to make room for the baby to grow. Not only this, but your body starts to change. Each woman changes at her own rate so do not panic. Your skin texture tends to look better, remember the popular saying: “pregnancy makes a woman more beautiful”. Well, it is true. During pregnancy, your body loses less hair than normal and you might find some uninvited hair on your jaw, chin or above the upper lip. Do not worry, waxing and shaving are perfectly safe.

Now you have to take care of yourself better than ever because pregnant women are sensitive to anaemia and you have to make sure you drink a proper amount of water.

Scan appointments at 22 weeks

Taking a growth scan will help you and your doctor to keep an eye on the development of your baby. You will have all measurements recorded and checked. In addition, getting some glossy images of your baby at 22 weeks will make you feel better and more relaxed seeing the small, cute figure.

19 Weeks Pregnant

Congratulations, you are halfway along your pregnancy! This is a busy week for the development of your baby’s senses. Areas in the brain are specializing to refine vision, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Communication with your baby is getting real now. Start singing lullabies and read her stories.

Your baby’s development at 19 weeks

At 19 weeks, your baby is 6 inches long, and she is growing at a fast pace. The sensory development is on the rise. Your baby can hear you and she might be able to taste the amniotic fluid she swallows. The arms, legs and body are now well proportioned, as you might be able to see in the ultrasound pictures. More cartilage is being transformed into bone, which means grasping and kicking are done more firmly and controlled now. Your baby might also grow hair on her scalp already, although you will not be able to see this yet at a 3D scan. The skin of your baby is getting covered in vernix – a white, creamy substance that protects her sensitive skin from the amniotic fluid. This will shed by the time of birth, although some premature-born babies can be covered with vernix.

Your body and lifestyle at 19 weeks

Your uterus is getting crowded after this halfway mark of pregnancy. Be prepared with comfortable maternity wear, midwife advice, a nutrition plan and a schedule for your most important ultrasounds and check-ups.

This is also a period of pregnancy called quickening – when mums start feeling their baby’s movements. It usually happens between 18 and 21 weeks, but if you only start feeling movements later, it is not a worrying sign. Try to pat or brush your belly whenever you get signals from the baby. She might be able to feel it and a true bond will start to form between you two. For many mums, this is an experience that helps to become aware of how real the baby is. It’s a magical moment. Share with your close ones. Everybody is delighted to feel the baby kicking.

Ultrasound scans you can take at 19 weeks

One of the most important pregnancy scans is the anomaly scan. Book this scan before the end of week 21. It is recommended to have this scan for assessment of risks and of the general health and well-being of the baby.

You can already have a growth scan at this time if you haven’t yet. This is to track how your baby is growing in size. Your sonographer can explain you in detail all the measurements that are taken during a growth scan appointment and how the results can be used.

You can also have a gender scan, although it is better to wait until after 20 weeks for clearer images that can confirm the gender of your baby with accuracy.

Schedule an appointment for a 4D Baby Scan to see your baby in motion, floating and, if you’re in luck, grasping and kicking. For better video quality, book an HD Live 4D Scan.

18 Weeks Pregnant

You now only have one week left until the half-way mark of your pregnancy. Your baby is gaining weight and developing her nervous system at a fast rate, while you’re getting hungrier and your belly is visibly growing.

Your baby’s development at 18 weeks

As fat is being deposited under your baby’s skin, she’s gaining weight, reaching about six ounces at 18 weeks. She’s developing new muscles and experimenting with new moves. She can kick, roll, yawn, swallow and do all kinds of wonderful baby moves. Pay attention to the types of movements you feel in your belly, you might be able to distinguish them. It’s very likely that you will be able to see your baby moving at the next ultrasound scan.

The nervous system is now developing at a very fast pace, and the five senses – touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing – are becoming more accurate. Teeth also form around 18 weeks, and sex organs are developing.

Your body and lifestyle at 18 weeks

If you’re feeling hungrier than before, it’s normal. Have water and snacks with you all the time and set on a diet with many small meals a day.

Feet swelling is also a common symptom around this time. Whenever you can, rest your feet on a surface that’s higher than your upper body. Try to have a nap every day, for 10 or 15 minutes. You will feel more rested and be able to get through the day without feeling exhausted in the evening. When you lie down, tilt on one side to accommodate your belly and avoid putting pressure on your spine. Use pillows as props to make yourself comfortable. Massage your legs and feet every night to improve blood circulation and to avoid leg cramps and varicose veins. Use hand cream to massage your hands as well if they are swollen.

Ultrasound scans you can take

Although your baby’s sex organs should be developed around 18 weeks, we recommend waiting for another two weeks for a gender baby scan. The ultrasound images are much clearer at 20 weeks.

If you haven’t booked your anomaly scan yet, do it before the end of week 21. This scan will assess the health and well-being of the baby, while checking for specific risks.

If you want to see your baby moving and have the recording of it, schedule an appointment for a 4D Baby Scan or an HD Live 4D Scan.

17 Weeks Pregnant

At 17 weeks, your baby is growing faster than ever. Unique fingerprints are forming and the kicking is growing stronger. Fat is being deposited under your baby’s skin, and soon those 3D scan pictures will look adorable. Your bump is visibly bigger now, so get comfy in stretchy clothes and flat shoes.

Baby development at 17 weeks

Your baby’s bones have started to harden and deposit calcium. The hand grip and legs kicking are now stronger and firmer. You are likely to feel some of the kicking already. Body fat is slowly accumulating under the skin and the heartbeat should now be regulated. Your baby’s heartbeat should be about twice as fast as your heartbeat. Weighting around 150g, the body is growing bigger and will start to look more proportionate. Ears should be fully formed and they are starting to reposition closer to the face.

An exciting development is that of her fingerprints. Around week 17, the fingertips and toes are starting to form unique fingerprints.

Your body and lifestyle at 17 weeks

Pay attention to movements in your tummy these weeks. You won’t feel strong kicks for at least a month yet, instead you will start to feel gentle fluttering movements. After 22 weeks, you might be able to guess if it’s a hand or a foot that’s kicking.

You might feel a little off-balance as your gravity center is shifting. Now is the time to give up wearing high-heels and wear flat or low-heeled shoes to avoid any falling or stumbling.

When sitting, try not to get up too sudden to avoid fainting. Keep exercising and maintain a healthy diet to feel fit and well during these months.

You will notice skin pigmentation around your nipples, some spots on your face and a dark line below your belly-button. These are normal and will fade after birth. The dark circles around your nipples will be gone in about a year after you’ll have given birth.

Ultrasounds you can take at 17 weeks

From 16 to 24 weeks you can take the Growth Scan, an ultrasound that helps the doctor take measurements of your baby and check how she is growing.

From week 17 onward, you can have a 3D/4D scan. It’s a good idea to document the early moves of your baby at week 17 in video and images. The images will look better however later on, when more fat will have formed under the skin.

The Benefits of a Well-Being Scan during Late Pregnancy

The Well Being scan is an ultrasound carried out in the third trimester of pregnancy to check the well-being of your baby after 24 weeks. During this scan, the sonographer will take several measurements of your baby and check the position of the placenta as well as the amount of amniotic fluid. It is quite similar to the Growth Scan, only the focus of this scan is to check if everything is in order for the approach of the labour moment.

What happens during the Well-Being scan?

The baby’s development is assessed by measuring:

  • the head circumference
  • the circumference of the abdomen
  • the legs (the length of the femur)

In addition to the baby’s measurements, the baby’s position in the womb, the position of the placenta and the amount of amniotic fluid present will be assessed by the sonographer. Several other details are observed and reported, such as breathing movements and umbilical artery blood flows using a Doppler test.

At the end of the scan, all measurements and observations will be included in a report of the scan, which can be used for reference in follow-up appointments or when going into labour. Follow-up appointments are only necessary in case any problem is detected or suspected.

How do I prepare for a Well-Being scan?

There are no requirements prior to taking a well-being scan. You should eat and drink as normal on the day of your scan appointment. Having a full bladder before the scan is not necessary. It is recommended to wear loose clothes, as the sonographer will need to position and move the ultrasound probe along your abdomen. The most important thing is to feel comfortable during the appointment.

When can I take the Well Being scan?

Any time from the 25th week of pregnancy to the final stages of pregnancy up until week 36 is a suitable time for taking a well-being scan. While growth scans are recommended at different points in time to check the evolution of measurements, this is not the case with the well-being scan. If you had a growth scan during your second trimester, bring the report with you at the wellbeing scan. This will help the sonographer to better assess the development of your baby and the transition from mid pregnancy to late pregnancy.

Top Questions in Early Pregnancy

When does morning sickness start?

Morning sickness symptoms are caused by the pregnancy hormones in your body and for most women it starts around the 6th week. You might experience nausea from particular smells or foods. Read more on what morning sickness is and how to cope with it. As you advance in the second trimester, your morning sickness and nausea symptoms should ease up.

When will my pregnancy bump show?

If this is your first pregnancy, a bump will only be visible at the start of the second trimester, around weeks 12-16. If it is not your first pregnancy, your bump may be visible sooner, because belly muscles may be still stretched from your last pregnancy. Body weight, age and genes are also factors that influence how soon you will start to show a bump. If your bump shows too early, you might consider booking an appointment for an ultrasound scan to calculate the due date.

When will I have my first baby scan?

The very first scan you can take is the early pregnancy scan, which confirms whether you are pregnant or not and calculates your estimated due date. Twin pregnancy can be detected with this ultrasound. Also called viability scan, the early pregnancy scan can be taken from week 7 to week 11 of pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife might recommend this scan especially if you have had miscarriages or complications during previous pregnancies.

How soon does frequent urination start?

Frequent urination is one of the first signs of pregnancy, and will be at its peak during the first and last trimester. This is caused by the shrinkage of your bladder and by the fact that your body will start to produce more urine during pregnancy. This is a symptom you’ll have to get used to, as there is not much to do to reduce it. It’s important that you continue to drink the necessary amount of fluids. Try to give up caffeinated drinks, as these make you urinate more often and do not hydrate your body very much.

Why am I so emotional during pregnancy?

Mood swings are a common symptom during the first trimester of pregnancy. There’s not much reason to worry if you’re going from calm to irritation in seconds or if you’re feeling that your emotions are not as balanced as before. Mood swings are caused by the increase of pregnancy hormones in your body, as well as by the fact that there are many changes you need to go through during pregnancy. During the second trimester, mood swings should disappear. Read more about how to cope with mood swings and other common symptoms during early pregnancy.

The 4D Ultrasound Scan and Why It’s the Most Popular

4D baby scans are ultrasound scans that use advanced software to render 3D images of your baby in motion. Seeing your baby in motion for the first time is a magical experience for parents, never to be forgotten. This is why 4D baby scans have quickly risen in popularity. At your appointment you also receive a video of the 4D scan to take away. You’ll have a precious memory to share with your loved ones at home, even years after your baby will be born.

The difference between 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound scans

3D ultrasounds are still pictures of your baby in colour and 3D, while the 4D scan features a fourth dimension: time. That means you will also receive a DVD recording of the scan to see your baby in motion.

3D/4D ultrasounds differentiate from the 2D ultrasound through the type of images they show. 2D ultrasounds are flat looking images in black and white that show rather outlines of your baby, and the skin appears to be transparent. The 2D scan is useful for looking at the internal organs. 3D/4D scan images, however, are formed of multiple flat images of different sections. These images are then converted into a 3D picture, where the skin is opaque and in colour. This enables you to see the baby’s external features from different angles: her shape, her face and other details at skin level.

Benefits of the 4D baby scan

Because it shows images of the baby from different angles, the 3D/4D ultrasounds are used by doctors to diagnose issues at skin level, such as a cleft lip. Besides this medical benefit, the 4D ultrasound scans have the amazing feature of showing your baby in motion. Because of the 3D looking images and the colour, particular details of the face can be seen. You might actually be able to tell if the baby looks more like the father or more like the mother.

The ideal time to have a 3D/4D pregnancy scan

You can have a 3D or 4D pregnancy scan starting with the 17th week, although that might be a bit too early for accurate images of how your baby’s face will look like. It will take another two months for the fat tissue to form under the baby’s skin, which will result in better pictures. Around week 28 is the most promising time to take the 4D ultrasound scan. Already at week 26 you will get better scan images of your baby.

The 4D premium package scan

The 4D ultrasound scan is also the most popular scan at our clinic. This is why it is part of our most elaborate scan package. The 4D premium package scan is not your regular pregnancy scan experience. You will get much more: seeing your baby in 3d, being able to tell resemblances to the dad or mum and seeing your baby in motion. You will receive a DVD recording to take home with you, so you can watch baby in motion over and over again and show it to your close ones.

11th Week of Pregnancy

As you’re heading towards the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, your headaches and nausea should start disappearing. In the 11th week already you may feel more active and symptoms of tiredness should fade. You may also notice an increase in appetite, so you will put on more weight in the following months. Your baby is developing complex features and you already have a pretty face for the ultrasound pic on the fridge.

How your baby is developing

At just over one inch and a half in length, your baby can now kick and he or she can even stretch fingers and toes. The kicks will become more frequent over the next 6 months, as your baby grows stronger. By the 11th week, your baby has distinct features, with tooth buds, nail beds, hair follicles and ear flaps already present. Her sense of smell also began to develop and will become more complex until week 30. By then, everything you eat and inhale will be smelled by your baby as well.

In-between the 11th and 13th week of pregnancy, the Nuchal Translucency baby scan can be carried out. This is an ultrasound scan that checks for certain issues, including Down syndrome, and reports initial measurements of your baby. Talk to your OB/GYN doctor about a recommended time for you to have this scan.

How your days are changing

As your morning sickness starts to wane, you may feel hungrier than usually. Stick to a healthy plan with nutritious food and pick fruits and crackers as snacks instead of junk food. Food cravings will also diminish in the next month, so it will be easier to have a balanced diet, with small and various meals. Include plenty of carbs in you plan and get as much protein as possible from nuts and dried fruits. Despite having the need to pee frequently (you have the hCG hormone to blame for that), you need to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid caffeine, as caffeinated drinks increase the frequency of urination. Constipation is also a common symptom due to pregnancy hormones, so it’s perfectly normal, but you can try diets that help alleviate this symptom.

You will have more energy in the following weeks, so this is the perfect time to plan a romantic trip with your partner. Most pregnant women feel at the peak of their energetic levels in the first part of the second trimester. Just make sure you’ll have everything you need for a safe travel.