Umbilical Hernia During Pregnancy - Symptoms, Risks, and Treatment

Protruding Navel and Umbilical Hernia in Pregnancy

Moving towards the much-awaited phase of motherhood is a lot to deal with. Your body experiences certain changes due to hormonal imbalances and you must be prepared to tackle them effectively. While there are a lot of changes taking place internally, many start making their appearance during the end of the first or the beginning of the second trimester and continue till you deliver. One such prominent change is a protruding belly button. It is a harmless and painless state when your belly button protrudes due to the pressure of the baby within. In certain cases, it turns into an umbilical hernia, which requires medical attention. During pregnancy, the belly button pops out, which is a significant sign indicating that the little one is growing within. Many incorrectly consider it a signal for labour, but it actually takes place during the second trimester—around 26 weeks of pregnancy, implying the development of the baby. To grow and thrive, the little one needs space and that is why it exerts pressure on the organs, resulting in a protruding navel.

Causes for a Protruding Navel

As the little one nears his term, the uterus also swells. This pushes the organs closer to the abdominal wall. As a result, there is pressure on the interior of your navel, which makes it protrude. It also depends on the growth rate of the baby in the womb and on the placement of the uterus in your body.

Treating a Protruding Navel

A protruding navel does not call for medical attention, as it heals with time.  After delivery, as the pressure on the navel decreases, the belly button tends to get back to its normal form. All you have to do is wear loose clothes for a few weeks so that they do not rub against the navel, leading to irritation. However, in some cases, if a protruding navel persists for too long after giving birth, chances are that it is an umbilical hernia. The belly button or umbilicus is the weakest point in our abdomen and thereby vulnerable to developing a hernia. During pregnancy, this thin area is stretched. Due to pressure the inner lining of the abdominal wall is pushed out and forms a sac on the belly button, leading to complications.

Risks of an Umbilical Hernia During Pregnancy

If you have an umbilical hernia during pregnancy, it may keep on increasing. Listed below are some complications that pregnant women may face because of the umbilical hernia.

  1. Pregnancy causes the hernia to grow in size. This increase of hernia may put the foetus at risk.
  1. In pregnancy, bowel movements are also affected because of the umbilical hernia. If the opening is too wide, the umbilical hernia can force the bowel out. In such a condition, bowel movements are cut off, which can be detrimental for your pregnancy.
  1. Nausea, excessive vomiting, fever, and pain in the umbilical area are some other complications of an umbilical hernia during pregnancy.
  1. If the bulge is clearly visible, then umbilical hernia might be in bad condition. In such a situation you should immediately consult your doctor.

Delivery With a Hernia

Women get apprehensive if they are pregnant with an umbilical hernia. But there is no need to worry as even after having a hernia, you can have a normal delivery. If the size of the hernia is small, your gynaecologist may suggest that you proceed with normal delivery. However, when the hernia is large and low in your abdomen, doctors may recommend a cesarean delivery. Another condition when the doctor suggests a c-section delivery is when you have had a c-section delivery before.

Treatment for Umbilical Hernia

In most cases, doctors suggest you leave the umbilical hernia as it is and let it dissolve on its own. However, when it causes pain, minor surgery is recommended. Also, there are certain exercises that you can try, to deal with an umbilical hernia. While exercising, make sure you go for a regimen that does not put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and aligns your body in a straight line. Walk straight; wear heels to exert pressure on your knees and hip flexors, which will thrust your pelvis out. You can also go for exercises that strengthen your core muscles. Lastly, stop fretting as it won’t help.

If you experience a hernia or protruding navel during pregnancy, do not worry. Simple consult a doctor and look at the options. Pregnancy is a wonderful experience, so, don’t let a hernia stop you from enjoying it. Remember to take precautions and do the necessary exercises to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

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