Your 24th week
24 weeks into pregnancy and you are rocking it! This week, little air sacs and blood vessels within your baby’s lungs will be developed. To support your baby’s development and cognitive function, don’t forget to keep a stash of iodine-rich treats!
Like many mothers in Singapore, you must feel relieved at week 24 – finally, your baby looks like a very small newborn! Your baby would have developed all its facial features by now. This includes eyebrows, eyelashes2, and even wisps of hair on its head2!
Your baby’s respiratory system – including blood vessels and air sacs in the lungs – is also becoming more developed1. Though your baby is a little too big to be quite as acrobatic as before, you will continue to feel it move, stretch, roll and kick!
Your baby opens his eyes for the first time and it sits upright as his bones have strengthened steadily. The taste buds have finished development and your baby can taste the sweet amniotic fluid. your baby would have developed all its facial features by now. This includes eyebrows, eyelashes, and even wisps of hair on its head!
Your skin is better supplied with blood which will cause you to blush quickly while your heart and lungs perform at a higher rate. Your uterus is stretched considerably and reaches your navel now.
Even if a baby was prematurely born in week 24, it will survive – thanks to neonatal care units that are well-equipped and technologically advanced! Before this point, the baby’s lungs and organs won’t be as developed enough, even with the help of expert medical care4.
Iodine for Ideas
Make iodine a part of your pregnancy diet, because it does wonders for you and your baby! Besides supporting your baby’s cognitive function5, iodine also makes thyroid hormones6, which regulate your metabolism and keep your cells healthy7. In fact, not taking enough iodine may result to poorer cognitive outcomes for your baby5.
Most mothers can get all the iodine they need by eating healthily – which is at least 0.14mg of iodine a day9. If you’re worried about your iodine levels, speak to your healthcare professional about taking supplements!
Going grocery shopping? Include the following iodine-rich foods in your shopping list10!
- Milk and dairy products
- Ocean fish e.g. cod and haddock (avoid shark, swordfish and marlin)
- Other pregnancy-safe seafood
- Dried seaweed
- You could also replace regular salt with iodised salt
1. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 42.
2. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 261.
3. Curtis, GB, Schuler, J. Your pregnancy week by week. Cambridge: Fisher books, 2011, p. 343.
4. NHS UK. You and your baby at 21-24 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-21-22-23-24.aspx [Accessed July 2014]
5. Bath SC et al Effect of inadequate iodine status in UK pregnant women on cognitive outcomes in their children: results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Lancet 2013;382(9889):331-7.
6. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.
7. NHS UK. Vitamins and Minerals-Iodine [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Iodine.aspx [Accessed April 2014]
8. Vanderpump MP et al. Iodine status of UK schoolgirls: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet 2011;377(9782):2007-12.
9. Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. London: TSO, 1991.
10. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. p. 759.
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