Pregnancy affects not only physical and emotional state of a woman but also her appearance. Every day the female body changes, the most important alteration being the ongoing baby development. A lot of women note that as the pregnant belly is growing, the belly button also undergoes changes.
Around the 20th week, the pregnant belly button starts to protrude, its shape round. Doctors consider a slightly increased belly button normal if there is no discomfort. Why can there be pain and how dangerous is it? Let’s see into detail.
How does the navel change during pregnancy?
First of all, we want to mention that not every woman experience navel changes while pregnant. Since the second half of pregnancy, when the belly is rapidly growing, a lot of future moms notice that the pregnant belly button smoothes out and loses its usual shape. Not long before childbirth, the pregnant belly button becomes protruding. Why does it happen?
Don’t worry, such changes are normal. After childbirth, your navel will resume its ordinary shape. The factors which have an influence on the pregnant belly button are a large fetus, a multiple pregnancy or hydramnios, rapid weight gain – in these conditions, your belly will be growing faster and the belly button – stick out.
Why can you feel pain in the pregnant belly button?
Pain in the navel area is usually related to the quick growth of the future baby which is registered since the 20th pregnancy week. The skin on your belly stretches too much, so there can be some discomfort: itching and tugging sensations. This condition is called “tension pain” – it’s not dangerous.
Unpleasant feelings in the belly button can be caused by the stretching of the umbilical cord muscles – they are shifting because of the rapidly increasing uterus.
This very discomfort can also be explained by the weak state of the abdominal muscles of the future mother. As they stretch, you can sometimes witness such an occurrence as the blue pregnant belly button.
Not long before childbirth, the navel muscles stretch to a maximum, and, as a result, the belly button sticks out, bringing the future mom discomfort. For example, the woman can feel an unpleasant itch. It’s also normal, you don’t need to worry. Everything is okay unless there are other disturbing symptoms.
Less frequent are the cases when there can be a pain in the pregnant belly button due to a health disorder of some kind. That’s why you need to consult a doctor about any discomfort in the navel area.
How to relieve the pain?
If you feel strong pain or stretching sensation in your pregnant belly button, then you are in need of a medical examination. It’s important to rest, not to take any painkillers and not to apply heat to the sore spot before the doctor arrives. You’ll need to watch closely for any changes in your condition, any accompanying symptoms, and then let your doctor know about them.
If the possibility you have health issues can be eliminated, you’ll be able to relieve the dragging pain and discomfort in the pregnant belly button with the help of a healthy diet, a pregnancy belly band, and moderate physical exercise. It is also recommended to sleep on your left side, go swimming while pregnant, and walk more.
The illnesses which cause pain in the navel
It’s as well possible that there is a pain in your pregnant belly button for a more dangerous reason. Sometimes this condition can be induced by the following problems:
- An umbilical hernia;
- Intestinal infection;
- Stomach, liver or pancreas diseases;
- Urinary system diseases;
- Gynecological problems.
Nausea, constipation, bloating, pulsation feeling in the navel area are usually the signs of an umbilical hernia. When there are accompanying symptoms, a hot belly button also points at this pathology. If mechanical pressure on it causes unbearable pain, there can be no doubts about the diagnosis.
Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, raised body temperature are the main symptoms of intestinal infection. Against this background, the intestinal muscle tone increases – and the same happens to the uterus, which is fraught with a miscarriage or premature birth.
Appendicitis during pregnancy occurs very seldom, but if your appendix still hasn’t been removed, you can’t exclude such a possibility. The pain to the right of your navel, high temperature, nausea – these are common signs of appendicitis.
The pains originating from above the belly button often tell of gastroduodenitis or another gastrointestinal tract disease. The chronic digestive organs illnesses going into an acute form during pregnancy isn’t rare because all the abdominal cavity organs have to function in somewhat changed conditions.
Pain below the belly button accompanied by the urination disorders can be related to urological problems: for example, cystitis. Don’t engage in self-treatment if that’s the case because all the infectious and inflammatory processes in the urinary system are dangerous for the baby.
Discomfort in the pregnant belly button paired with nagging pains in the lower back and abdomen tell of increased tone of the uterine muscles. This condition threatens the safety of the fetus, so it’s not recommended to ignore the symptoms. With all the conditions mentioned above, you should request professional help.
A bulging pregnant belly button
After the 20th week, a lot of women notice that their pregnant belly button starts bulging as if turning inside out. The less fat there is on the future mom’s belly, the more evident this sign is.
The extent of the bulging depends on how much the abdominal muscles are stretched and the belly button increase. Some of the pregnant women fear about the shape of their navel and belly in future. But don’t worry – even if your belly button is sticking out during pregnancy, everything will get back to normal after childbirth.
Darkened belly button
Besides your belly button can bulge, there can be darkening of the skin around the navel and along the abdominal line. It happens as a result of hormonal changes in the future mother’s body and skin pigment accumulating in that area.
The pregnant belly button can become dark for the whole pregnancy term, but 6 weeks after childbirth the pigmentation returns to its usual color. So, if the future mom has noticed her navel darkened, she can be sure it’s going to get back to normal.
Pierced belly button
Piercing such an intimate place as belly button is popular among modern young women. Doctors don’t approve of this procedure, considering it unsafe.
But, despite the majority of women doing piercing long before pregnancy, some of the future moms decide to go through this procedure during the gestation period. However, it’s not recommended to do piercing during pregnancy because the wounds take quite a while to heal and can inflame.
If you already have piercing, watch your health condition during pregnancy more closely. The belly button ring should be removed as soon as you start showing.
Preventive measures against discomfort
In order to avoid pain and discomfort in the pregnant belly button, it’s necessary to pay attention to the preventive measures in advance. The first measure is wearing a maternity belt.
It’s recommended that future moms wear this special accessory since the 4th month of pregnancy. And you absolutely have to wear a pregnancy belly band if you are rapidly gaining weight, if it’s your second pregnancy, and if you’re pregnant with twins.
The second preventive measure against navel pain is pregnancy planning. If you pass a medical examination before trying to conceive and treat all the discovered health issues, the risk of complications during pregnancy will be minimal.
In the majority of cases, pain in the pregnant belly button isn’t a reason for concern. But when there are additional symptoms, you need to consult a doctor as soon as possible. It’s always good to play safe, especially during pregnancy.