Have you noticed changes in your belly button since you became pregnant? Are you concerned as to why your innie just became an outie?
Your belly button will go through a series of changes during your pregnancy, most of which are completely normal. There are many factors that influence the changing of your belly button.
The good news is most of these changes are temporary, and your pre-baby belly button will eventually be back. This article will teach you everything you’ve ever wondered about your belly button — and a few things you probably didn’t too.
The journey to motherhood is full of numerous changes you probably never saw coming. The best part though is that they are all worth it.
As your baby grows, the amount of space inside your belly region becomes limited. There is little muscle covering your belly button, so as your uterus grows it can push right up against it (source).
When you notice your belly button popping out, that just means you are one step closer to meeting your little one.
Your expanding uterus is making room, and the only direction your belly button has to go is out. Some moms are afraid their belly button can be stretched so far that it can literally pop. This is not the case!
Your skin is extremely elastic, but it knows its limits. Your belly button will not fall off.
You will probably notice this change around your second or third trimester. More specifically, around the 26th week (source). Some people joke and say your belly button is like a timer, once it pops out, your baby is nearly ready to come out of the oven!
If your belly button hasn’t made its outward voyage yet, don’t be alarmed. Some women’s belly buttons don’t pop out. They stay the same, or they become flat (source).
It doesn’t mean something is wrong if your belly button doesn’t pop out. You can consult with your doctor just in case and make sure that your little one is growing on schedule.
Most expectant mothers don’t even realize their belly button has popped out because it is almost always pain-free. It is not unusual to go to bed one night with an innie and wake up the next morning with an outie.
The actual act of popping is pain-free. The biggest disturbance is visual, not physical. It’s strange to look down and see that newly-prominent belly button.
It may take some getting used to because your belly button will be visible through your clothes, but other than that you shouldn’t have any other issues.
What You Need to Know
Moms who experience this have been known to tape over their belly button or place a bandage over it. Otherwise, your newly-expanded belly button is harmless (source).
Other Issues You May Have Noticed
Other symptoms can arise from your belly button expansion.
Some of these include:
Your belly button has popped out because your uterus has significantly grown. This growth causes your skin to stretch, which can lead to itchiness around your belly — especially your belly button.
2. Umbilical Hernia
These occur because of increased abdominal pressure. Anyone can develop one, especially during pregnancy.
If you notice an enlargement associated with pain and tenderness around your belly button, this could be the culprit. These are usually only dangerous if your intestines are protruding through the abdominal muscle.
You should consult with your doctor to make sure everything is safe, and to determine treatment options if necessary (source). Some surgeries can reverse this if it is serious, but it is a risky surgery during pregnancy. Usually, the issue can be fixed once your baby has been delivered.
3. Dark Rings
Some mothers experience dark lines around their belly button. This is normal and is due to skin pigmentation, likely from hormones. It is also possible that as your skin stretched, light bruising occurred from the leaking of blood vessels under the skin (source).
4. Linea Nigra
This is a dark line that extends from your navel to your pubic bone. Not all women will get it during pregnancy.
The best thing you can do about your belly button popping out is embracing it. This is a milestone in your pregnancy — you are one step closer to meeting your little baby.
Your belly button will not be in this permanent state forever. Just think, the popping out was a result of that little life inside of you growing bigger and bigger.
That is something that should make you proud, not embarrassed. Most pregnant women experience the belly button pop, so own it!
It is only temporary, but if it bothers you there are ways that you can help mask its appearance underneath your clothing. You can wear tank tops underneath your shirts or choose thicker fabric that won’t cling to your outie and accentuate it.
Piercings are not a pain-free experience, so the thought of having to get yours redone after pregnancy can be a mood killer. Many moms can maintain their piercing throughout their entire pregnancy, so you might not have to go back in for round two!
Every woman is different, and depending on how your baby grows, your belly button could be barely affected.
Some doctors will advise you to take out your piercing as a preventative measure. This is ultimately your decision, but you should follow your doctor’s advice (source).
As your belly grows, there could be a significant amount of pressure put on your belly button that can make your piercing painful. Many moms describe this as a pulling sensation. If you experience this it’s important you remove your piercing.
The traditional piercing does not allow enough “wiggle room” which can lead to significant irritation. Some piercings are flexible and designed specifically for pregnancy.
If you can’t wait to find out if you are carrying a boy or a girl, there are some old wives’ tales involving the belly button that can help you guess the gender. These are fun, and not always 100 percent, so don’t go buying all girl or boy stuff based on these results.
Here are a couple of the more popular old wives’ tales.
- If your belly button seems to be smiling, you are having a boy. If your belly button is frowning, you are having a girl. A significant amount of expectant mothers have seen some success with this trick (source).
- The presence of the linea nigra can also help you figure out whether it’s a boy or girl supposedly. If the line continues above your belly button, that bun in the oven is a boy. If the line finishes below your belly button, it is believed to be a little girl (source).
It is still best to have a doctor give you gender confirmation, but only time can tell whether or not you are going to be having a little prince or princess.
In my experience, the belly button outie does not stay after the delivery and new moms can expect the belly button to return to what it was before pregnancy.
Editor's Note:Christine Traxler, MD, BS
Pregnancy is an emotional roller coaster of a journey to motherhood. There are so many changes your body will go through, that it seems crazy that something so small like your belly button is even affected.
You have had to accept so many changes — your belly button should be the least of your worries. Unless you potentially have an underlying issue, embrace that pregnancy belly.
Each pregnancy is unique, and if you ever have another one, it will be a completely different journey than this one.
Never feel embarrassed by your pregnancy changes — you are busy creating a life. Like most things in life, it is what’s on the inside that matters most.
Once your belly button pops out, you are one step closer to meeting your precious baby.
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