Navel pain in pregnancy is a very common symptom and occurs mainly due to changes in the body because it has to adjust to the baby's growth. This pain occurs especially at the end of pregnancy due to increased belly size, baby movement and lack of space in the woman's body, but may also arise at other times.
In general, the navel and the surrounding area are painful, and swelling may also occur. However, this pain is not constant, and appears mainly when the woman bends her body, makes an effort or pressing the region.
However, if pain develops in late pregnancy, spreads to the abdominal belly and is accompanied by uterine contractions, it may be a sign of childbirth.
See the main causes for navel pain during pregnancy below:
1. Body changes
As the fetus grows, the muscles and skin of the belly are stretched, which can cause pain in both the inward and outward navels. This pain may occur from the beginning of pregnancy, and may continue until the end due to the pressure that the baby puts on the uterus and radiates to the navel.
2. Protruding navel
Some women have a protruding belly button during pregnancy and constant contact with clothing can cause skin irritation and pain in this area of the belly. In these cases, wear light, comfortable clothing that does not irritate the skin or put a bandage over the navel, protecting it from contact with the fabric.
3. Umbilical hernia
Belly button pain can also be caused by an umbilical hernia, which may appear or worsen during pregnancy, and should be evaluated by your doctor to check for special braces or surgery during pregnancy.
Hernia usually occurs when a part of the bowel comes loose and presses on the abdomen, but in many cases it resolves on its own after delivery. However, if the hernia and pain persist even after the baby is born, surgery to remove the hernia is indicated.
Learn more about how umbilical hernia arises and how to treat it.
4. Intestinal infection
An intestinal infection may cause severe abdominal pain near the navel area, accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
This type of infection can be a serious problem during pregnancy and should be treated with your doctor, as you need to use vomiting and pain control drugs and in some cases you may also need antibiotics.
Women with a navel piercing are more likely to experience pain during pregnancy as the skin becomes more sensitive and increases the risk of navel infections due to the difficulty in cleaning the region. If, in addition to pain, you are also swelling, redness and the presence of pus, you should seek medical advice to remove the piercing and start treating the infection. See how to treat a piercing to avoid infection.
In addition, to avoid complications, it is recommended that if you have your body pierced, you should use material that is adjusted to pregnancy to help prevent inflammation and that fits the growth of the belly.
How to relieve navel pain
To relieve navel pain, which is caused by changes in pregnancy and is unrelated to other causes, it is most important to relieve pressure on the region. For this it is recommended you:
- Sleep on your back or on your side
- Wear a proper pregnancy strap;
- Participate in in-water activities to relieve weight on belly and back;
- Wear comfortable, lightweight cotton clothing;
- Apply a moisturizing cream or cocoa butter on the belly button skin.
If even after taking these measures, the navel pain continues, or becomes stronger over time, it is important to inform the obstetrician to assess if there is any problem that may be causing the symptom.