Stronger than ever
Within your baby’s lungs, the air sacs and blood vessels needed for normal breathing are continuing to develop. In fact, they are developed enough in week 24 of pregnancy that if your baby were to be born now, they would have a chance of surviving with the support of a neonatal unit. Iodine-rich foods, like milk, continue to support cognitive function.
Your baby's development at 24 weeks
Developing healthy lungs in week 24
At around 21cm long from crown to rump, and 600g (around 1lb 3oz) in weight, your baby is now looking more like a newborn, just on a much smaller scale. In week 24 of pregnancy, they already have all the facial features you will see when they’re born, including eyebrows and eyelashes. There may even be wisps of hair on their head.
Although your baby is now too big to be quite as acrobatic as before, they still have a very tactile relationship with their surroundings and you’ll continue to feel them move, stretch, roll and kick.
Neonatal care units are so well equipped and technologically advanced that babies born in week 24 of pregnancy have a chance of survival. Before this point their lungs and organs weren't developed enough to support them, even with the help of expert medical care. Read our article to find out more about caring for a premature baby.
Iodine for ideas
Iodine supports your baby’s cognitive function. It also helps make your thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism and keep your cells healthy. Because of this, it should form an essential part of your balanced diet for the entire duration of your pregnancy.
Most people can get all the iodine they need from eating healthily. However, according to some recent research, many young women in the Ireland aren’t getting enough iodine in their diet.
A research study suggested that children born to mothers who were iodine deficient during pregnancy had poorer cognitive outcomes compared to children born to mothers who had a healthy intake. Studies like this have led experts to suggest that iodine is more important in pregnancy than was previously thought.
All women need at least 0.13mg of iodine a day. If you’re worried about your iodine levels, speak to your doctor or midwife who may suggest taking supplements.
Include the following iodine-rich foods in your diet:
- Milk and dairy products
- Sea 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.
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.