Postpartum Hernia

Updated on September 02, 2008
M.C. asks from Bar Harbor, ME
8 answers

I was wondering if any of you mommies out there have gotten a hernia around your belly button during/after having a baby, and how that worked out for you to deal with it, and what implications it might have for a subsequent pregnancy. Thanks!

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answers from Boston on

Hi M.,

I have not dealt with this personally but my sister has. After her first birth she had to have surgery on the hernia since then she has had a happy, healthy, little boy just in July. So it seems as though it's a pretty "easy" for lack of better wording procedure. I do remember she was out of work for about a week but was back up on her feet after that and feeling great. Good luck.



answers from Boston on

I had one when my twins were about 8 months old. (They are now 4.5 years). I was on the floor playing with them one afternoon and felt a tear with excrutiating pain. I had it fixed a few months later. Since then I had another child (who is now 18 months old). She was a natural birth whereas my twins were c-section. I am only now having issues with my hernia and will have it re-fixed later this month.



answers from Boston on

Yes, I have a post partum hernia and the doctor didn't make a big deal of it. I do work out and do sit ups. It hasn't been a problem.



answers from Boston on

I had one during my first pregnancy and had it repaired 3 months after the birth. It was a generally easy repair with not too much discomfort. I had no problems during my second pregnancy. There is a small scar under my belly button but it is flat and nothing looks that weird. I chose to have the reapir because it was uncomfortable. I could have just lived with it. HTH



answers from Providence on

I had an umbilical hernia with baby #2. It KILLED towards the end of the pregnancy as something got caught in there (strangulated) and I ended up in the hospital for a night. But then the pain subsided and they determined I could go all the way through. Anyway, I had the choice of getting it repaired during my c-section surgery (already planned) or doing it separately and having a similar recovery period, so I of course chose to have it repaired while they were in there. I found a great surgeon who was also a breast surgeon so had rights at the hospital and that was the end of the story. The surgery itself did take longer because when the c-section was over then the second doctor came in to do the repair, but at least I had only one recovery time. And as for subsequent pregnancies...I just had #3 3 weeks ago! No complications at all. Don't worry!
I will say this - I just went for an incision check and my OB said "Oh, it looks like you have a hernia" and I didn't even have time to even ask what that meant, where it was, what I would do about it if anything, (we were on our way out). I'll ask at the 6 week check.



answers from Boston on

I ended up with an umbilical hernia after my first pregnancy (my son is now 3). It turns out that I probably always had one, because I always had a slight 'outie' belly button, and the pregnancy just made it worse (I was 120 lbs. and gained 65 lbs. during that pregnancy, so I was H-U-G-E!!! But weight gain isn't necessarily what causes it.) My OBGYN was able to tell what it was and sent me for a consultation to a local surgeon.

Sometimes umbilical hernias are no big deal and you don't need to fix (like when I was a child). Sometimes the opening becomes large enough that it warrants fixing (as in my case) because it's in essence, a hole in your abdominal wall. In extreme cases, parts of the bowel can come through the opening and cause huge problems. Yuck.

I had surgery to close the opening three months after giving birth. They basically made a small incision near my belly button and inserted a piece of surgical mesh to close it off.

I won't say that it was fun. The recovery SUCKED for two days. I had my husband and mother watching my son around the clock because I couldn't even move from bed except to go to the bathroom. I had to nurse him lying on my side (I was told the pain meds were OK when nursing because it's often the same thing given to moms after a c-section). LOTS of ice packs helped. Turns out that the percoset was way to strong for me and made me very weak. Once I switched to regular advil, I felt much stronger and could move around without getting so dizzy.

Full recovery took about 5 days. I had to wear a bandage for three weeks and stay out of ponds and pools for that long. I ended up getting a dr's order for 3 weeks of recovery and was able to tack that on to my maternity leave.

I got pregnant again a year after surgery and had my daughter that spring. No problems with the surgery 'holding' -- it should last a lifetime.

The only drawbacks I have are mostly cosmetic-- incision scarring and sutures. Some surgeons use a certain type of sutures and I had a lot of scarring under the skin. There's a section around my belly button that sticks out from where the edge of the mesh doesn't lie flat. Let's just say my bikini-wearing days are gone! My surgeon has moved to Fla, so I plan to have another consultation to see if it is necessary to have another surgery to fix it, or if it is something I can easily live with. If you want, I'll keep you posted!



answers from Hartford on

I had one in my belly button during my last pregnancy. My little one is 18 months old now. I got pregnant again 7 months ago and hernia is fixed and i have had no problems at all during this pregnancy.

18 months ago I had the hernia fixed during my c-section. The only pain was finding a surgon that both took my insurance AND had rights at the hospital that i was giving birth AND was willing to do it while i was opened up for my c-secion. But i found one and wala! it's fixed! My belly button was quite red for a while but it didn't hurt at all and I recovered from that very quickly.

At this point it's a non-issue.



answers from Boston on

Hi M.,
I have a hernia around my belly button and got it before I was pregnant. I went to see a surgeon and he said not to fix it until I am done having children. My daughter is now 22 months and as a matter of fact, I took a pregnancy test yesterday and it was positive!! But I actually kind of forgot about the hernia until I read your post. It definielty got big after the birth of my daughter but I didnt have any complications whatsoever! I will have another c-section and will ask about getting fixed at that point (I just read that as a respond to your post!)
Good luck!