What causes belly button pain during pregnancy? And what should you do if you experience pain or discomfort? We explore the innies and outies!
Our bodies go through all kinds of changes when we’re expecting.
And one of those that gets the least attention is belly button pain during pregnancy.
So what causes it? Is it anything to worry about? And what can you do to ease the discomfort?
Let’s dive in.
In this article: 📝
- The anatomy of your belly button
- Is it normal for your belly button to hurt during pregnancy?
- What does pain around the belly button mean?
- What can you do to ease belly button pain?
- A pain in the belly button
The anatomy of your belly button
The belly button marks the spot where the umbilical cord once connected you to your mother.
When the cord was cut, it left behind a scar.
That’s your belly button.
So what is your belly button connected to now?
The answer is — nothing! But it’s the thinnest part of your abdominal wall.
During pregnancy, your abdomen changes shape as your uterus stretches.
So it’s hardly surprising that this thinner area of tissue can be prone to irritation.
Is it normal for your belly button to hurt during pregnancy?
Pain around the belly button during pregnancy isn’t unusual.
Many mamas-to-be find this area feels a bit strange or uncomfortable as their baby grows.
You may find your belly button looks wider too.
And some women with an innie see it “pops,” transforming into an outie.
In rare cases, pain can be more severe.
If you’re in a lot of discomfort, it’s wise to speak to your doctor.
What does pain around the belly button mean?
So what causes belly button pain during pregnancy?
Usually, it’s just the skin stretching and becoming more sensitive.
If the pain is more serious, though, something else may be going on.
If you have a piercing, it might have become infected.
Is the area red, itchy, or warm to the touch? And are there any signs of discharge?
If so, don’t remove your jewelry until you’ve seen your doctor.
If the skin heals over the infection, it could lead to an abscess.
But don’t worry — your doctor will be able to get the infection under control.
Sometimes, mamas-to-be can get an umbilical hernia.
This happens when pressure on the abdomen tears the fascia around the belly button.
(Fascia is a fancy word for the strong tissue that keeps our insides in place.)
Hernias aren’t necessarily a problem.
Often they’re small and harmless and shrink after you’ve had your baby.
But in rare cases, part of your intestine or bowel can become trapped.
That is much more painful.
You may sweat and vomit, and there may be a bulge near your belly button.
If you experience those symptoms, see a doctor immediately as you may need urgent surgery.
What can you do to ease belly button pain?
Next up: how to relieve belly button pain during pregnancy.
A range of techniques can help.
A bandage and loose clothing can ease the irritation caused by fabric rubbing against the sensitive spot.
Applying cocoa butter or other moisturizers can help too.
And you could try wearing a belly band for extra support.
Simple remedies like a bandage over your belly button can also be surprisingly effective.
If it’s your piercing that’s worrying you, you might want to change up your jewelry.
Some mamas-to-be choose a pregnancy belly button ring.
These are made of a material called PTFE, which makes them more flexible.
(Head here for info on your belly button piercing after pregnancy.)
But if you’re experiencing severe pain, speak to your doctor.
And if in doubt, talk to your doctor too.
Your body is going through many changes, so it’s normal to have questions.
A pain in the belly button
Belly button pain during pregnancy is fairly common, and it’s usually nothing to worry about.
But if the pain is more serious or if you have any worries, speak to your doctor.
They’ll be able to check you over and advise on the best course of action.
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