Developing healthy lungs in week 24
At around 21cm1 long from crown to rump, and 600g (around 1lb 3oz)1,2 in weight, your baby is now looking more like a newborn, just on a much smaller scale3. In week 24 of pregnancy, they already have all the facial features you will see when they’re born, including eyebrows and eyelashes2. There may even be wisps of hair on their head2.
“Air sacs are developing in the lungs, ready to receive the first breath of air.”
Your baby’s respiratory system is also becoming more developed in week 24 of pregnancy, with blood vessels and air sacs continuing to develop in the lungs1. These vital organs will carry on developing throughout pregnancy and beyond birth.
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 care4. Read our article to find out more about caring for a premature baby.
Iodine for ideas
Iodine supports your baby’s cognitive function5. It also helps make your thyroid hormones6, which regulate your metabolism and keep your cells healthy7. 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.”
Most people can get all the iodine they need from eating healthily. However, according to some recent research, many young women in the UK aren’t getting enough iodine in their diet8.
One important UK-based study showed 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 intake5. Studies like this have led experts to suggest that iodine is more important in pregnancy than was previously thought5.
All women need at least 0.14mg of iodine a day9. 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 diet10:
- 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.