You have encountered a magical point in your pregnancy. Around 24 weeks, the babies will enter the stage of viability. If born now, there is a 90% chance of survival with medical intervention. During these four weeks, the babies will double their weight and by week 28 each baby will weight around 3 pounds and will be around 15 inches long. Fat is developing rapidly under the skin and the babies are beginning to get more pigment in their skin. Hair continues to grow and facial features are becoming more distinct. During this month your babies' eyelids will become unfused. If observed on ultrasound, you can see your baby opening and closing their eyes. Each baby is already very individual and has their own cycles of sleep and wakefulness. Babies will begin to respond to sound during this month. Turn on the music and read to your babies each day.
By 28 weeks you are likely to feel the affects of pregnancy. You will be feeling very heavy and the weight of the pregnancy is probably starting to affect your back and legs. The pressure of your growing uterus can also cause backaches. You may experience relief when the babies change their positions. As the babies move down into your pelvis, you will experience pelvic pressure and increased pressure in your rectum. You will notice an increased urge to urinate more frequently. This urge will remain for the rest of the pregnancy.
You should be feeling movements from each baby every day. The intensity of their kicks and movements may be changing around this time. There is not room for them to move around as much anymore, so you may not feel as strong of movements.
Because you are carrying multiples, expect to experience alot of Braxton Hicks contractions. A Braxton Hicks contraction is a contraction of the uterus and feels similar to a menstrual cramp. Typically, they are not painful but will make your belly feel hard. Sometimes a change in position will trigger a Braxton Hicks contraction. Unlike true labor contractions, there is no pattern to a Braxton Hicks contraction.
Sensitivity to sun
Increased heart rate
Change in sexual desire
Leakage from nipples
Change in appetite
Carpal tunnel syndrome
To Think About This Month
Be aware of symptoms of preterm labor
Obtaining baby care essentials
Finding care for your other children while you are laboring
Limiting physical activity
Accepting help from others
At The Doctor
You will probably be visiting the doctor every two weeks by this point. Make sure you address any questions or concerns to your caregiver. Make sure that you have asked your doctor about any physical activities and sexual intercourse at this point of your pregnancy. You will be screened for group B streptococcus around this time. You will also have a glucose tolerance test at this visit. The glucose tolerance test will check to see if you have gestational diabetes. In addition to these tests, your caregiver will be checking:
1.) Weight gain or loss
2.) Blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate
3.) Heart and lungs
4.) Breast exam
5.) External palpation of the uterus
6.) Measure height of fundus
7.) Fetal hearbeat
8.) Urine screens for sugar, blood and any bacteria
9.) Possible ultrasound assessment