24 Weeks Gestation

24 weeks

  • Unique footprints and fingerprints are present.
  • Outside sounds can be heard.
  • Actions such as hiccuping, squinting, smiling, and frowning may be seen through ultrasound.
  • The lungs have developed such that some premature babies may survive.
  • Surviving premature babies may have severe disabilities and require long-term intensive care.
  • The weight is about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds.
  • The length is about 8 to 9 inches.


Babies born earlier than 37 weeks of pregnancy are called premature or preterm. Babies born between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy are called full term. Babies born close to full term have the best chance to survive and do well. The earlier a baby is born, the more likely he or she is to have serious health problems which may require extended hospital care or long term care outside the hospital. Advances in medicine and science will hopefully continue to improve the chances for survival for even the smallest babies.  

© 2003 Texas Department of Health. All rights reserved. Photos: Lennart Nilsson / Albert Bonniers Forlag AB, A child Is Born, Dell Publishing Company. Used by permission.

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Last updated December 5, 2012