Outie Belly Button During Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

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Outie belly button during pregnancy refers to the protruding navel (clinically known as umbilicus) seen in pregnant women. The growing baby inside the uterus causes your belly button to pop out. Although some women may not experience an outie belly button while pregnant, physical changes such as skin stretching are common. These often fade away and disappear after delivery.

Read on to know more about an outie belly button, including its causes and prevention.

In This Article

What Is An ‘Outie’ Belly Button During Pregnancy?

According to human anatomy, your belly button is a scar on your abdomen that marks the point of attachment of the umbilical cord is (1). ‘Innie’ is a slang for the belly button, as it is mostly inward. In cases where the belly button is protruding outwards, you can call it an ‘outie.’

protip_icon Quick fact
An outie belly button mostly appears during the second trimester, particularly around the 26th week (2).

What Can Cause An Outie Belly Button During Pregnancy?

The uterus expansion and amniotic fluid buildup push the belly button out.

Image: Shutterstock

During pregnancy, the body experiences various transformations including weight gain and expansion of the uterus as the fetus develops within the womb (2). As a result, pressure is exerted on the abdominal wall, and the surrounding muscles of the stomach are stretched. Moreover, fluid retention occurs, and amniotic fluid accumulates, leading to the uterus pushing against the belly button. As a result, your pregnant belly button starts protruding outwards or turns into an outie.

A mother of two expresses her opinion on embracing her outie belly button during pregnancy, ‘’It’s uncomfortable when the skin stretches taut and tight over your belly. Gets itchy, too.

“It’s a badge of honor of pregnancy, really; your body undergoing changes to produce a miracle. I nearly wanted to cover it up due to the comments I received, but hubby’s been a really supportive force. He said there is no need to cover up as this is all part of pregnancy (ⅰ).’’

It is a very normal occurrence during pregnancy, and you need not fret. According to Michael Bermant, M.D. of Bermant Plastic Surgery, your belly button will go back to its original shape in a few months after you are through with your pregnancy.

How To Prevent An Outie Belly Button When Pregnant?

While you are pregnant, you cannot prevent your stomach from growing, and similarly, you cannot prevent your belly button from protruding outwards and becoming an outie. Some people have an inward shaped belly button while some have an outward-shaped belly button even before pregnancy. The original shape of your belly button will not decide whether or not or how much it will protrude while you are pregnant. Similarly, you may not experience a protruding belly button even while you are pregnant. All these situations are perfectly normal and have no effect on maternal health or fetal development (2).

protip_icon Trivia
The belly button, also known as the navel, is the origin of the name of a popular fruit, navel orange, as it resembles an outie belly button (1).

What Happens To My ‘Outie’ Belly Button After Delivery?

During pregnancy, the skin around the belly button becomes loose.

Image: Shutterstock

During pregnancy, the skin around your belly button area tends to become loose. Therefore, it is possible that your outie may not go inwards, even after your delivery. In case your belly button does not go inside on its own, you may require minor plastic surgery to tuck it back into position. This surgery can be done a few months after delivery. Your gynecologists and plastic surgeon will be the best people to guide you about it.

It could also be an indication of a belly button or an umbilical hernia though it is quite rare. It can occur when some part of your fatty tissue or bowel pokes near the area of the belly button . If you are suffering from a belly button hernia, you may experience some pain and abdominal discomfort too. You should seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing a painful bulge near your belly button (1) (2).

A belly button protruding outwards may indicate an umbilical hernia.

Image: Shutterstock

You should also speak to your doctor if you notice any discoloration on and around the area of your belly button. The risk of developing a belly button hernia increases in case of multiple pregnancies. So if you’re expecting twins or more, your risk of developing a belly button hernia is high.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does it hurt if my belly button pops out during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, belly button pops are usually painless. However, the outward belly button can rub on your maternity clothes and cause minor discomfort or pain. So, if you have an outie while pregnant, try to cover it with a bandage or wear loose, long dresses to avoid friction (2).

2. Can an outie become an innie during pregnancy?

No. While an ‘innie’ belly button can become an ‘outie’ during pregnancy due to extra pressure on the abdominal walls caused by the growing uterus (2), an ‘outie’ cannot naturally become an ‘innie’ during pregnancy. However, a procedure known as umbilicoplasty can transform an outie into an innie (3).

3. Is the mother’s belly button connected to the baby?

The mother’s belly button is not connected to the baby or any other organ within the body. Therefore, the function of a belly button is vital only in the fetal stage and not beyond birth (4).

4. When does the baby move closer to the belly button?

The baby’s movement is felt above the belly button beyond 24 weeks when the top of the uterus is positioned at the belly button. A kick closer to the rib cage indicates that the baby’s head has aligned with the cervix, which usually happens after 37 weeks (5).

As the child grows in the uterus and the amniotic fluid builds up, the belly button protrudes along with the stomach. As a result, most women experience an outie belly button during pregnancy. After the pregnancy, the belly button generally returns to its original shape, but sometimes, it remains protruded. In this case, you will need a plastic surgeon’s help to bring the belly button back to its original shape. Another reason the belly button may stay protruded is an umbilical hernia. If you notice any discoloration around your belly button, you should contact a doctor. Moreover, remember that changes in the belly button’s shape are a normal part of pregnancy. So do not worry about it, and enjoy your motherhood.

Infographic: Things To Know About Outie Belly Button During Pregnancy

When expecting, your belly button may protrude or become an “outie,” a normal change that may be temporarily uncomfortable. The infographic states some important information on an outie belly button in pregnant women. So, consider reading it and forwarding it to your fellow expectant mothers to keep them informed and stress-free.

facts about outie belly button in pregnant women (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • An outie belly button during pregnancy is a common physical change that typically goes away after delivery.
  • This condition is caused by pressure on the belly button from the fetus and amniotic fluid.
  • If accompanied by pain and discoloration, it may be due to a belly button hernia, which requires medical attention.
  • In some cases, an outie belly button may persist after pregnancy and may require surgical correction.

Refer to the following video to understand the procedure to turning an outie belly button into an innies, as explained in detail by a medical practitioner.

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Are You an Innie or an Outie?
    https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/are-you-an-innie-or-an-outie
  2. Why Do Some Women’s Belly Buttons Pop Out During Pregnancy?
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-do-some-womens-belly-buttons-pop-out-during-pregnancy/
  3. Marco Gardani et al.; (2019); Umbilical reconstruction: different techniques a single aim.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7233773/
  4. Why belly button pain during pregnancy is still a mystery; UT Southwestern Medical Centre.
    https://utswmed.org/medblog/belly-button-pain/
  5. Quickening in Pregnancy; Cleveland clinic.
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms
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Dr. Swati Chitnis is a gynecologist and endoscopic surgeon with over 8 years of experience. She did her bachelor in medicine at BJ Medical College & Sassoon Hospital, Pune, India  and MS at the prestigious King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.

Read full bio of Dr. Swati Chitnis
  • Dr. Swati Chitnis
    Dr. Swati ChitnisMS, DNB Dr. Swati Chitnis is a gynecologist and endoscopic surgeon with over 8 years of experience. She did her bachelor in medicine at BJ Medical College & Sassoon Hospital, Pune, India and MS at the prestigious King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. She worked in various hospitals in Mumbai and currently runs her private practice.
    Dr. Swati Chitnis is a gynecologist and endoscopic surgeon with over 8 years of experience. She did her bachelor in medicine at BJ Medical College & Sassoon Hospital, Pune, India and MS at the prestigious King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. She worked in various hospitals in Mumbai and currently runs her private practice.
Ria Saha
Ria SahaB.Tech
Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant.

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Rebecca is a pregnancy writer and editor with a passion for delivering research-based and engaging content in areas of fertility, pregnancy, birth, and post-pregnancy. She did her graduation in Biotechnology and Genetics from Loyola Academy, Osmania University and obtained a certification in ‘Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pregnancy’ from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU).

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Aneesha holds a Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from USTM, Meghalaya and Master’s degree in Applied Microbiology from VIT, Vellore. With two years of experience, she has worked on different research projects in the field of Food Sciences.

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