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.
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.’
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
- 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.
- Are You an Innie or an Outie?
- Why Do Some Women’s Belly Buttons Pop Out During Pregnancy?
- Marco Gardani et al.; (2019); Umbilical reconstruction: different techniques a single aim.
- Why belly button pain during pregnancy is still a mystery; UT Southwestern Medical Centre.
- Quickening in Pregnancy; Cleveland clinic.