What to do when you have hernia while pregnant

Pregnant woman is holding her belly

If you are pregnant women and you are dealing with hernia it all depends on many different factors. Those factors determine if you should be waiting until you will give birth with hernia repair. Hernia shows up when one of your tissues pushes through a weakened layer of muscle in your abdomen.

Pregnant woman are in higher risk of hernias and the reason why is because of the increased pressure which pregnancy puts on the abdomen.

Umbilical hernias and pregnant women

This kind of hernias are ones that are more common for women than men. Umbilical hernia is very rare condition durning pregnancy. You are the most likely to get an umbilical hernias while you are pregnant when:

  • If you had umbilical hernias before you got pregnant,
  • If your stomach muscles are naturally weak,
  • If you have overweight,
  • If you have naturall opening in stomach muscles,
  • If you are dealing with excess fluid in the stomach or body.

Umbilical hernia repair

This name comes from the place that hernias shows up. This place is was located in your own umbilical cord. It all depends on what kind of stage is the umbilical hernias in. For example if you are mild umbilical hernia during pregnancy might not need any treatment at all it may just go away after you deliver your baby. While you are pregnant it all depends on this how bad is going to your hernia be. If it is small and you are having any health problems becouse of it your doc will for sure want to wait with treatment till you will give birth to your baby. On the other hand if hernia is huge and is damaging the intestines or other organs you may need surgical intervention ASAP. Doc’s advises to wait until second trimester with this kind of emergency surgery.

Inguinal hernias

Inguinal hernias is the rarest type of hernia which can happen to a woman. It is located lower in the area of groin where muscles and also abdominal wall fibers can stretch because of uterine pressure. Inguinal hernia is the one mostly experienced by males.

Epigastric Hernias

This one looks very alike to umbilical hernia but shows up in your navel area not close to youe belly button. Most of the time they are occuring because of weakened abdominal tissues and it is very likely to show up after the pregnancy.

Symptoms of an umbilical hernia while pregnancy

Umbilical hernia may not give any symptoms while you are pregnant and all you may notice can be hernia bulge or swelling around your belly button. You can also notice things like:

  • Swelling or some kind of bump next to your belly button,
  • Pressure can also accure in area of belly button,
  • Pain around belly button.

There is also very dangerous cases of an umbilical hernia which can lead to:

  • Vomiting,
  • Severe pain,
  • Very sudden pain.

It isn’t said that each pregnant woman will have symptoms of hernia. However many women hernias shows up as a bulge which shows up while woman for example lie down. It is also very likely to have painful hernia bulge which mostly will be dull. Those all of hernia symptoms can be more and more intense as our pregnancy progresses and our body weight gets bigger.

Hernias durning labor

It is okay for woman to have vaginal deliver while they are having hernias. It can also happen that hernia is going to show up durning the labor or after it. It can happen because of the abdominal pressure which is naturall while giving birth. It happens as pregnant woman is pushing baby out.

Hernia treatment strategy durning pregnancy

Pregnant woman holds one of her hand on her belly

Most of the time doctors will for want to have it under control but won’t advice surgery. After pregnanacy if hernia did not repait itselfe then after right period of time (probably few months after birth) will be considered an surgical intervention. Durning pregnanacy there is only one reason for doctor to decide that woman require surgery . And it happens when it is strangulated hernia. Treatment options of surgeries are for example mesh repair or no mesh repairs and it depends on the individual patient. After woman gives birth there are exercises which are helpfull for the process of abdominal muscles heal.

Elective hernia repair

Your doctor may happen to advice you hernia repair durning your pregnancy if it is giving hard symptoms or can couse pregnancy complications. Some of the doctors recomend this kind of surgery durning first or second trimester. If your hernia was repaired only with suture repair then it can be a significant risk factor for your hernia to come back during pregnancy.

Can you prevent hernia?

If you think it is easy to prevent hernia you are wrong. Hernias can show up in any time with any reason. But don’t worry being pregnant does not worsen hernia at all. You can reduce pain by supporting hernia region while you are laughing, snizzing or for example coughing. You can do it just by using your hand.

Group of higher risk?

To be honest most of those hernia defects are congenital are present at birth. You may not notice it until the hernia defect shows up durning the pregnancy. For other women there are different factors that can couse hernias. For example you are more likely to get hernia if:

  • You are carring more than one baby,
  • Prior pregnancies,
  • Had previous hernia,
  • Obese women are also more likely to deal with hernias.

Increases risk of hernias can be pregnancy itself. If you ever had hernia before then it is very possible that pregnancy can be huge risk factor for hernia to show up again.

What is the reason that stands for hernias during pregnancy

Hernias are likely to occure for people that has got weak muscles, older people or people that ae highly active. But comiming to pregnant women here are some of common causes for pregnancy:

  • lifting heavy weights,
  • Increase in abdominal fluid,
  • A slow increase in the pressure exerted by the uterus on the abdomen,
  • Continuous sneezing or coughing,
  • Putting on excess weight.


  • If there wasa family history of hernias or you had previous abdominal surgery or maybe you are overweight this all are risk factors of getting hernis while you are pregnant.
  • Pregnant patients which are dealing with hernias are better to deley the surgery if they aren’t a huge danger to mother or the baby.
  • Most hernias that happens to pregnant women are external. This means that they affect the abdominal wall and may be felt as a bulge under the skin.
  • Hernias hardly ever can be damaging to your intestines if they are left untreated.
  • There is somethig called diastasis recti. This is very frequent durning pregnancy it may also still be happening durning postpartum period. People with this condition can evelop umbilical hernia recurrence after repair.


If you have got a small hernia and it becomes bigger and you will have more of symptoms and you are between first or second trimester is great time for surgery. If hernia is small but still occures with symptoms elective repair should be proposed to you but if your hernia develops in serious complications emergency repair surgery is necessary. You should also keep that in your mind that pregnancy may be a significant risk factor for the hernia formation because of hormonal changes as well as increased intra abdominal pressure by the enlargement of the gravid uterus. As you could notice pregnant woman have an increased risk factors of hernias.

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One thought on “What to do when you have hernia while pregnant

  1. I’m pregnant and because I found this article I went to my doctor. I was worried because I have been dealing with symptoms that were listen in this article. When I went to my doc, he confirmed that I’m dealing with hernia. Thank you so much for this wonderful article!

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