Many pregnant women experience belly button pain during the second and third trimester. The navel is the attachment point of the placenta in the womb. Most of the causes of abdominal pain are harmless and will go away when the baby is born.
Causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy
Possible causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy include:
As the fetus grows, the uterus expands. This puts pressure on the abdomen, including the umbilical region. The enlargement of the uterus, as well as the position of the baby, can put pressure on the navel. Over time, the increased pressure on the belly button can cause pain, itching, and discomfort.
Weight gain and organ displacement during pregnancy causes the skin and muscles around the navel to stretch. Stretching can sometimes lead to rectal diastasis, which occurs when the rectus abdominis muscles separate into the left and right halves. This does not directly cause umbilical pain, but it reduces the amount of tissue between the uterus and the umbilical cord, which can increase pressure sensitivity. Stretching the skin can cause some localized pain and itching around the navel.
Some pregnant women have a bulging navel, which can increase sensitivity and pain.
A hernia usually does not harm the pregnant woman or the fetus.
An umbilical hernia occurs when the intestines extend beyond the anterior abdominal wall through the umbilical ring. Umbilical hernias can occur due to increased pressure from the uterus. If it does not cause significant symptoms, doctors may recommend observing and not performing surgery. However, if there is a risk of pinching the hernia, the doctor may suggest surgery.
A pinching occurs when a portion of the intestine is not getting enough blood. Reduced blood supply can cause tissue death and other complications. The operation poses a small risk to the pregnant woman and the fetus.
Belly button piercing
The woman will have to remove any piercings during pregnancy. If the piercing is tightening the skin, chances are that it could rupture. Damage to the navel increases the risk of infection.
Applying warm or cold compresses to the itchy area can reduce discomfort. Avoid using very hot compresses or ice packs that are not wrapped in a towel, as they can cause burns and increase the sensitivity of the navel.
Applying aloe vera gel can also soothe the sensitive skin around your belly button.
If the pain is not associated with an umbilical hernia, gentle massage can relieve the pain.
When to see a doctor
If the skin is inflamed and red, or if there is severe pain, it is best to talk to your doctor. Most causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy will not lead to any long-term complications.