Hernia occurs when a section of our intestine or other tissue pushes through a weakened layer of muscle in our abdomen.Pregnant women have an increased risk of hernias because of the increased pressure during pregnancy, which puts on the abdomen.Most hernias in pregnant women are external, which means that they affect the abdominal wall and may be felt as a bulge under the skin. This commonly happens in the lower abdomen or groin area.
Types of hernias during pregnancy:
There are different kinds of hernias that can crop up when anyone is expecting:
- Umbilical Hernias: It is the most common type of hernia during pregnancy. It occurs right at one’s belly button, when her intestines bulge through the front of the abdominal wall.
- Peraumbilical Hernias: It occurs near the navel.
- Inguinal Hernias: This is less common and occur when one’s groin muscle is weakened by the pressure from her uterus and tissue bulging through it.
Symptoms of hiatal hernia:
Not every expectant woman who develops a hernia will experience symptoms. One may only find out that she has a hernia when her doctor does medical tests related to her pregnancy care. But in most cases, a hernia shows up as a bulge or lump that appears when she lie down or press on a nearby area. One may only be able to feel this bulge, or sometimes visible. A hernia may also cause pain, which is typically dull but may become sharper when one may exert herself by walking quickly, bending over, sneezing or coughing, lifting heavy objects, or laughing intensely.
Hiatal hernia pregnancy symptoms may include:
- Sudden pain that may get worse
- Hernia bulge may turning red, purple, or dark
- Inability to pass stool and gas
Risk Factors for a Hernia during Pregnancy
As because pregnancy puts pressure on abdomen and may cause to strain due to increased body weight, all pregnant women are at increased risk for developing a hernia.
There are certain factors make it more likely that develop a hernia while pregnant:
- Being overweight/obese
- Multiple pregnancies like twins, triplets and more
- Previous abdominal surgery (including hernia repair)
- Older age
- Family history of hernias
- Lifting heavy objects
- Chronic sneezing or coughing
- Chronic constipation
If anyone develops a hiatal hernia pregnancy, need not to take stress about it too much. It won’t hurt baby and the risks to mother is also minimal. Just need to talk to her doctor regularly about how she feels and what to do, and chances are good she will have a normal, healthy pregnancy and delivery. After having baby, doctor will give some exercises to help abdominal muscles heal from the strain of pregnancy. If hernia still isn’t repaired after doing those for the recommended amount of time, surgery may be considered or more postpartum. Surgery during pregnancy is only recommended if hernia becomes strangulated and puts mother at risk.
In most cases, practitioner will recommend “watchful waiting,” or keeping an eye on hernia without any treatment. If the bulge bothers, one can try wearing a belly band to hold it in, or massaging it back in towards stomach.