Umbilical hernia in the newborn: what it is, what needs to be done

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Philippe Gloaguen
Author and references
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In this article

  • What it is and how it is formed
  • How it looks
  • Dangerousness
  • How we intervene

How it looks

It looks like a little one swelling, of a soft and elastic consistency, next to or at the level of the navel. The swelling usually disappears with light finger pressure and is sometimes only present when the child exerts abdominal effort, for example during bowel movements or when coughing.  

Read also: Baby's feces: everything you NEED to know

What it is and how it is formed

By definition, a hernia is the release of an organ from the cavity that normally contains it. In particular, theumbilical hernia it is represented by the leakage of a small portion of the intestine into the abdominal wall, next to or at the level of the navel.

In newborns (where it is more common than in adults) it is caused by the fact that the opening for the blood vessels of the umbilical cord has not yet closed completely.

It's dangerous?

Babies usually do not have any symptoms or manifestations (apart from the swelling), and the condition is typically harmless and will go away on its own. Only in extremely rare cases is it possible that the intestine becomes trapped in the opening, with interruption of the blood supply (bottleneck). This event - which, we repeat, is very rare - could be dangerous. 

How we intervene

Precisely because a possible constriction is very rare and the condition does not cause discomfort or discomfort to the baby, usually in the case of an umbilical hernia nothing is done and expects it to disappear by itself. Usually, an umbilical hernia closes by age 5.

If a hernia is very large, your doctor may still recommend the surgical treatment.

Source for this article

  • Umbilical Hernia, information material from the WebMd site

Questions and answers

When should you worry?

If it swells more than usual or causes pain (which the baby expresses with a heavy cry). Then it is necessary to consult the pediatrician urgently.

Are there any effective traditional remedies?

Folk remedies such as placing a coin on the hernia with a patch are ineffective and risk irritating the skin.

  • child's agenda
  • newborn 4-8 months
  • bulging navel newborn
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