A hernia while pregnant? Welcome to Number 372 on the list of things you weren’t expecting to deal with during this time.
Pregnancy comes with a bunch of surprising conditions you may have never even thought of before: restless leg syndrome, strange dreams, leaking breasts, hair loss, the linea nigra, nosebleeds, lightning crotch, and everyone’s favorite, heartburn. Oh, my. The heartburn.
But just when you thought you’d heard it all, here’s one more thing on the list — the pregnancy hernia.
Don’t worry, mama. We’re here to help.
In this article: 📝
- What is a Hernia?
- What does a pregnancy hernia feel like?
- What happens if you have a hernia while pregnant?
- Can a hernia affect the baby while I’m pregnant?
- How is a hernia treated during pregnancy?
What is a Hernia?
The words “innies” and “outies” may immediately make you think of belly buttons, but the phrase applies pretty well to hernias too.
It’s when a bit of what should be your innie (fatty tissue or internal organs) breaks through a weak spot in the muscle and creates a small bulge or, yes, an outie.
Hernias most commonly occur in the abdomen or in the groin.
Most people who experience hernias are in fact born with little gaps in their muscle walls that might one day develop into hernias.
We’re usually blissfully unaware that these are even there to begin with.
But when there’s a lot of pressure in the area — as is the case when you have a growing baby inside you — a hernia may pop out.
The most common hernias seen in pregnancy are umbilical, periumbilical, and femoral or inguinal hernias.
An umbilical hernia is simply the fancy name for a hernia which pops up (pun intended) right near your belly button.
(You may have heard other mamas speaking about having a belly button hernia while pregnant. That’s what they’re talking about.)
Then there are also periumbilical hernias, which are sorta kinda close to your belly button but not quite.
Femoral or inguinal hernias are those that arise (!) in the groin.
What does a pregnancy hernia feel like?
If you think you may have a hernia yourself, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor.
Here are some ways to spot them:
- Is there a bulge that wasn’t there before, especially when you lie down?
- Are you able to push it back in?
- Does it cause you mild discomfort, a dull sort of ache? Especially when exerting yourself or coughing, laughing or sneezing?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a hernia.
But there’s no need to panic.
Hernias during pregnancy are treatable.
What happens if you have a hernia while pregnant?
The good news is, hernias usually don’t require urgent care.
You may get some relief by performing this little trick: gently pressing your hernia back in.
While serious hernia complications are super rare, it’s still good to be on the lookout.
If your hernia doesn’t budge when you press it, or you experience any sudden or extreme pain or nausea, it’s a good idea to get check out by your doctor as soon you can.
Can a hernia affect the baby while I’m pregnant?
The good news is that hernias don’t directly affect your growing baby.
As with most pregnancy symptoms, hernias are more trouble for you than the squish in your belly. Lucky squish!
But remember, your baby will remain happy and healthy as long as you do, so be sure to seek help if your hernia bothers you in any way.
How is a hernia treated during pregnancy?
Your hernia may just repair itself after your pregnancy.
Once you’re no longer pregnant and the pressure eases off the hernia, you may find it no longer bothers you, and you can leave it be.
But it’s still important to check in with your doctor so that they can monitor you for complications and treat any pain or discomfort you may be feeling.
Some hernias require surgery, either during or after your pregnancy.
Usually, doctors will wait until your baby has been born, unless your hernia is causing trouble for you and, in turn, your baby.
If your doctor recommends that surgery during pregnancy is the best course of action, the second trimester is usually the best time to do this.
Alternatively, if you are in your third trimester and planning a cesarean birth, your doctor may suggest correcting the hernia at the same time as your c-section.
Some hernias only arrive during labor while you may be otherwise distracted.
If you decide to have your hernia repaired once your baby has arrived, your doctor will be able to advise on the best waiting period before doing so.
Now that we know that there’s more to innies and outties than just your belly button, why not check out Peanut for what else you can expect when you’re growing a human?
🤰 More on pregnancy health from The 411:
Can You Get an X-Ray While Pregnant?
Should You Do Keto While Pregnant?
What to Know About Food Poisoning While Pregnant
What to Know About Fasting While Pregnant
What to Know About Running While Pregnant
Fever During Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide
Can You Take Antibiotics While Pregnant?
What to Know About Stress While Pregnant
What is a Glucose Test During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy Nausea at Night: Treatments & Causes
Reasons for Dry Mouth When Pregnant (And What To Do)
Throwing Up Blood While Pregnant? What to Know
Can You Use Vicks While Pregnant?
Can You Kayak While Pregnant?
Can You Get Your Nails Done While Pregnant?
Can You Go to the Chiropractor While Pregnant?