While pregnancy is a time of changes and health complications, you’d expect that now that your baby is cradled in your arms, all those problems will disappear. Well, yes and no! Because sometimes, postnatal complications like an Umbilical Hernia can make your life rather difficult after your pregnancy as well.
So, what is an umbilical hernia after pregnancy? How does it complicate your routine? Read our post below to learn all about the condition, and how it can affect you!
What Is Umbilical Hernia?
After childbirth, a part of your internal organ protrudes outwards through the opening in the muscle. Some common locations where hernias develop are the lower abdomen and the groin area. If the bump swells up and becomes painful, you need to seek immediate medical guidance before it leads to a life-threatening complication (1).
Causes Of Umbilical Hernia In Women After Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your umbilical cord passes through the tiniest opening in your baby’s abdominal muscles. Such an opening usually closes after your baby’s birth. But in some rare cases, the muscle does not join completely and causes an umbilical hernia after pregnancy. Because of the excess stretching of the muscles in childbirth, the abdominal muscle tends to thin and weaken. Thus, you are at high risk of developing the umbilical hernia after pregnancy.
The excess intra-abdominal pressure that develops in your abdomen and pelvis in pregnancy pushes the organ outwards. The pressure is so severe that a part of organ or tissue protrudes through your abdominal wall, and a bump appears at or nearby of your belly button.
There are several factors that make the internal pressure of your abdomen typically high, such as:
- Multiple pregnancies
- Prolonged coughing
- Fluid in the abdominal cavity
- Heavy weightlifting
- Previous abdominal surgery
- Straining during bowel movements (2)
[ Read: Tips To Reduce Postpartum Cramps ]
Symptoms of Umbilical Hernia After Pregnancy
Some of the typical symptoms of an umbilical hernia post pregnancy include:
1. Skin Symptoms:
- A hernia develops around your weakened abdominal region and often occurs after your c-section delivery.
- The affected skin region of the navel bulges out, and the bump becomes visible to your normal vision.
- When a hernia strangulates or cuts off your normal blood flow to the intestinal region, the skin around the bump gets reddish or turns blue due to the lack of blood supply.
- A hernia may induce the sensation of mild pain and burning around the affected abdominal region.
- While putting an excess strain on your abdomen like having the bowel movement of persistent coughing further elevates the pain.
- When a hernia strangulates, you may also experience severe pain, and your entire abdomen turns rigid and tender.
- In the case of a strangulated hernia, you may have to go through an immediate surgical procedure of your bowel spills into your peritoneal cavity.
3. Gastrointestinal Symptoms:
When a hernia strangulates you can experience the following signs of digestive disorders:
- Blood in the stool (3)
[ Read: Postpartum Perineal Pain ]
Treating An Umbilical Hernia After Pregnancy
The surgical procedure effectively fixes a hernia. The surgery repairs the weakened muscle wall and obstructs the organ from protruding outside. However, in most of the cases, the doctor recommends performing physical exercise after childbirth like yoga and stretches, which reduces the protrusion naturally (4).
Simple Exercises To Reduce Umbilical Hernia After Pregnancy
Here are some simple exercising techniques that you can incorporate into your daily regime and reduce the protrusion naturally:
1. Boat Pose (Yoga Posture):
- Sit on the floor keeping both your legs stretched straight in front of you.
- Slowly place both your hand under your things, and try to lift your legs toward the chest.
- Hold the position for about ten seconds and slowly return to the initial position.
2. Cycling Leg Exercises:
- Lie on a slanted board, so that your feet are a bit higher than your head.
- Try lifting both your legs upward and paddle in a circular motion.
- The pressure on the abdomen lessens the swelling of the umbilical hernia.
Did you have an umbilical hernia after your baby’s birth? What treatments did the doctor suggest? Tell us here.
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