Welcome to week 24. 16 weeks to go!
Your baby is growing from a grapefruit last week to the size of an ear of corn. They measure 12.6 inches (32 cm) and weigh 1.5 pounds (670 grams).
Your baby has developed the sweet face you’ll soon see, with eyes and ears placed just where they should be. They are big enough to no longer do cartwheels and tumbles but are just as touchy-feely with their surroundings. They are also more attuned to sounds outside the womb.
Your baby’s skin is still very transparent. If you could see inside your womb, you would see all the organs, bones, and blood vessels. As fat deposits form, they won’t be as transparent. As your baby’s lungs continue to develop, the cells that produce surfactant are being created. Surfactant is a substance that will help their air sacs inflate once they are in the outside world.
Your uterus is now well above your belly button and is about the size of a soccer ball.
This week opens the window for gestational diabetes testing. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during your pregnancy and goes away after the birth of your baby. This condition affects 6-7% of pregnancies. The glucose challenge screening is a preliminary test to evaluate how your body processes sugar. Insulin resistance often starts around week 20, and you take this screening test between 24-28 weeks. While the glucose challenge screening is a standard routine test in the United States, you may test sooner if you are at high risk. During the test, you are asked to drink a sweet liquid of glucose (sugar) within five minutes and then will have blood drawn one hour after having the drink.
If you have a positive result on the glucose screening challenge, you will take a glucose tolerance test. This diagnostic test determines whether the body is using glucose effectively. You will not be permitted to eat or drink anything but sips of water for 14 hours before the test, so it is best to schedule the test for first thing in the morning. You may also want to have someone drive you to and from the test since your energy levels may be low, and there is a slight possibility that you may feel lightheaded. During the glucose tolerance test, you consume glucose, and your blood is tested every hour for three hours.
This episode dives into what gestational diabetes is, how it affects you and your baby, the testing methods for gestational diabetes, and examines the risks of the tests and potential alternatives.
Tip for Dads and Partners
One of my favorite resources for dads and partners is the Daily Dad. Ryan Holiday, the author, is one of the world’s bestselling living philosophers. This daily newsletter delivers one piece of timeless advice to your inbox daily. The Daily Dad is rooted in stoic philosophy, and the advice and stories shared in the Daily Dad newsletter will help you become a better parent.
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