Health & Wellness, Kids

How To Care For Umbilical Hernia in Babies

Umbilical Hernia is very common in babies younger than 6 months of age. It appears as a bulge or swelling around the belly button.

My daughter’s cord stump fell on the 10th day after she was born. After a few days, we noticed a bulge around her belly. Instead of belly button settling in, it was protruding with a swelling. We got really worried and took the next appointment to meet the paediatrician. We were asked to take a lot of precautions and be extremely gentle around it.

I am going to break down all the information about Umbilical Hernia through my personal experience. Looking at it every day or every hour will not be easy initially, but you need to have a lot of patience. My advice will be to follow your doctor’s instructions and don’t take any extraordinary measures all by yourself. You might end up doing more harm than good. Please always consult your doctor in case of doubts.

Causes of Umbilical Hernia

Also commonly called as an “Outie Belly Button”, Umbilical Hernia happens when the abdominal muscles around the belly button don’t close forming a hole and the navel doesn’t reverse inside the belly. The intestine finds space and makes it’s way out through the gap.

The hernia is visible when the baby puts pressure on his abdomen when coughs, cries or tries to poop. It doesn’t pain or causes any sort of discomfort to babies. It doesn’t cause any digestive or eating problems.

Read Gag Reflex in Children – Causes and Prevention

How To Care For Umbilical Hernia in Babies - Pretty Mumma Says #babies #baby #umbilicalhernia #hernia #outie #kidshealth #kids #children #howto

Treating Umbilical Hernia

Usually, Umbilical Hernia doesn’t require any treatment or medication. It heals on its own and reverses by the time your child is 5 or 6 years old. My daughter is a little over 6 years of age and her outie has reversed on its own like it was never there.

Surgery is recommended in case the hole is big and the outie hasn’t reversed till this age. Until then nothing needs to be done. Your child will be eating and sleeping normally.

However, if you notice any discharge or blood, call your doctor immediately.

Caring for Umbilical Hernia in Babies

The hernia forms within a day or two of falling of the cord stump. The stump area is still tender and needs proper care.

  1. Keep the outie and the area around it dry.
  2. Don’t slather oils, creams or body lotions on or around the hernia, unless adviced by doctor.
  3. After bathing the baby, wipe the outie with a spirit swab. Once it’s dry, dab the area gently with a medicated powder prescribed by your doctor.
  4. Don’t try to press or push the outie back inside. It might enlarge the hole.
  5. Some days the hernia will appear small and big on some days. Don’t worry if it looks big. It could be because of the gas in your baby’s tummy.

I again emphasise that it requires a lot of patience from you. Also, please consult your doctor if you have any doubts.

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This blog is written by my own experience. This article is not a medical advice by any means. Whatever I have shared here are things we personally experienced. Always seek your doctor’s advice incase you have any questions/doubts or notice any abnormalities.
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22 thoughts on “How To Care For Umbilical Hernia in Babies

  1. Hey Surbhi, thanks for sharing this information. I had seen few people unaware of this had deal this umbilical hernia with warm oil massage and stuff, resulting baby was sick and in pain. Hope many people come across this post. Awareness is needed.

  2. This is really helpful and useful for new mom’s. As it is a new mom is overwhelmed and tensed. Add to it the unwanted advise from people and things can go beyond control. Sound Medical advice and as you mentioned loads of patience will help the baby and mom.

  3. This is a really helpful post for new parents. I had no idea about an umbilical hernia but it does sound scary. However, the care tips shared by you will help parents to take care of their babies in a proper manner.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. Very informative. Also, Umbilical hernias can also develop in adults, especially if they are clinically overweight, lifting heavy objects, or have a persistent cough.

  5. This is such a unique & useful post, Surbhi.

    I was unaware about the fact that umbilical hernia in children can reverse passively without any surgical intervention. I hope this post reaches many parents & it’s nice that it reversed for your daughter. Well, I’ve come across adults who dealt with it very late in life, like in their 50’s & required surgery to get rid of it as it’s usually accompanied by a lot of pain & discomfort.

    I’m glad that I found your blog, by the way. Love everything that you write.

  6. Luckily with Milie & Buddy I never faced this medical issue. But this is such an informative & useful posts for new moms who might be struggling with this issue.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this with me, we never faced this with my daughter and was not aware of this, I would share this with new mom’s as it would be really helpful

  8. Great share! I am sure it requires a lot of patience for parents to wait until 5/6 years before they can be assured if everything is fine with the child. I am glad it got treated on it’s own for your daughter but for some it must be tough.

  9. This information is realy useful and I got clarity how hernia actually forms in babies. Really a useful for such babies and a their mom who get tensed because of it

  10. My cousin’s son faced this problem and I remember the number of visits they would make to the doc to get this treated. This is quite informative

  11. The best advice on this post – to follow doctor’s instructions and not cause any extra ordinary measures. It took a few years for reversal. Wow. That does need patience.

  12. I am glad to hear that by a certain age it gets resolved on its own. I have a relative whose kid has this and she was skeptical when the doc told to wait it out. I will forward this post to her and hope this helps her <3

  13. Ive heard of this happening to kids and i understand it can be a scary thing to look at the child’s belly button swollen up. it’s good that your blog post rightly says that in such cases the parents must consult a doctor and follow his advice to the T.

  14. Thank you for this post Surbhi! I was actually born with an umbilical hernia and mine didn’t go away until I was seven. What made it harder was that my belly button was an outie AND had the hernia too so when it healed it was hard to tell if it was “normal.” I still have an outie to this day and it reminds me of this. It’s way out. I’m glad your little girl is okay tho and has an innie! Hernias can be dangerous!

    1. It’s not easy to live with an outie since it makes really impossible to wear a certain type of clothes and as we grow it can be embarrassing too. I am glad I listen to my doctor’s advice and decide to wait. I agree that a hernia can be dangerous if not treated on time. I am glad you came by and shared your experience. Thank you so much stopping by, Liz.

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