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umbilical hernia when pregnant - midwife/medical advice appreciated

(19 Posts)
GeorginaA Wed 17-Dec-03 16:11:54

The more I read into this, the more nervous I'm getting.

I have a small tummy button hernia and am 17 weeks pregnant. Am I right in thinking this is because pregnancy weakens the abdominal muscles helping them spread out a bit, making it more likely? I vaguely remember having exercises after ds birth and one of the things they said to watch is how wide the gap was just over your tummy button (vague memory of having to feel the gap with your fingers) and it decreased over time after birth. Does this mean that it'll fix it self after birth of number 2?

The thought of an operation (wuss that I am) is really starting to freak me out. I really hate hospitals and am desperately trying to avoid them for birth of no. 2 or at least not have to stay overnight. The hernia operation (from what I've read) seems pretty major and there's a risk you just make the abdominal wall weaker by having surgery. Plus, if they want to do it immediately after birth, won't this affect my chances of breastfeeding/being with the new baby?

Still can't find any information out there which let's me know whether this will affect my chances of having a home birth either.

GeorginaA Wed 17-Dec-03 16:14:16

(oh, can't get a docs appt until after christmas as only emergency apts available and as they don't do anything while I'm pregnant anyway there didn't seem much point in taking up someone else's emergency appt.)

mears Wed 17-Dec-03 16:40:17

Have you been told you have a hernia or are you making that assumption? It is not uncommon to feel the separation of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy but there is no need for surgery. I have never met anyone who has required surgery.

GeorginaA Wed 17-Dec-03 16:42:28

I've phoned the midwife and described it, and she said it's almost certainly a small hernia (I've had to push the "lump" back in twice now - both times after I've stupidly carried a toddler about). My next appt with her isn't until the new year though.

kizzie Thu 18-Dec-03 21:03:42

Georgina - I had an umbilical hernia during pregnancy with my twins. Unfortunately my GP never even considered it a possibility after they were born so just kept being given antibiotics for non existent infections!
Anyway it was eventually diagnosed by someone at the hospital.
I did need to have an operation but not everyone has to and plese dont worry - it really was a minor op. (Years ago it used to be a big thing but theyve got very different techniques now). I was originally going to stay in overnight but in the end came out same day. Bit sore for a few days but nothing major.
So hopefully you wont need an op but even if you do hope this has reassured you that its nothign too bad.

GeorginaA Thu 18-Dec-03 21:58:30

Thank you kizzie - that is immensely reassuring. I fully intend to make an appointment first thing after Christmas (I have a midwife appointment already booked for the 5th of Jan) so hopefully I'll know more then. Thanks again

NGPY Mon 29-Dec-03 16:19:47

Oh no, I'm nearly 10 weeks and I think I've got one of these! What a bugger, I didn't think my abdominal muscles were particularly weak and I've done a fair amount of strengthening/toning work since ds born (not fanatical though, I don't have supermodel tum). Will it get worse and worse as I get bigger and bigger? Is there anything I should avoid doing, e.g. lifting heavy toddler?


NGPY Mon 29-Dec-03 16:20:20

God, this is just perfect - not

GeorginaA Mon 29-Dec-03 16:35:13

NGPY - I think avoiding lifting has been a big improvement for me - haven't had a recurrance for a while (thank god). My mum has since told me that she had one when she was carrying me and that once I'd been born it just "popped back in" and no further intervention was required. I'm hoping I follow the same pattern!

I've got a proper midwife appointment on the 5th - will let you know what she says about it. *hugs* - horrible isn't it?

NGPY Mon 29-Dec-03 19:00:27

Thank you, Georgina, that is really kind. I've been in tears all afternoon over this. Pathetic isn't it? I suppose it is my hormones.

I'd really appreciate it if you could share any advice you get on the 5th. I'm thinking OMG I'm only 10 poxy weeks, what is it going to be like when I'm at 40+ weeks - doesn't bear thinking about.

Will see what else I can find out and come back to this thread.

Thanks again, Georgina, I really appreciate your kind message

GeorginaA Mon 29-Dec-03 19:19:37

Don't feel pathetic - or at least, I should feel pathetic too. I was also in tears both times it happened, it was so scary. I think it feels especially awful because then you have to refuse to pick up your toddler much earlier than you expected to have to think about being careful. It's horrible to think ds' sibling is affecting his life already before he/she has even been born!

NGPY Thu 01-Jan-04 10:47:25

Hi Georgina

I got mine looked at by a midwife yesterday. Apparently it is a small one. However, she was very reluctant to give me advice and urged me to see the GP as soon as possible.

Have you been to the doctor yet?

Hope all is well with you otherwise.

GeorginaA Thu 01-Jan-04 16:34:29

Not yet - mainly because it hasn't reoccurred and I don't think there's anything particularly to see. Was going to hang on until the midwife's appointment on Monday and see what she says.

I hope your GP's appointment goes well.

GeorginaA Mon 05-Jan-04 13:39:56

Just an update. I mentioned it to my midwife this morning and she didn't seem that bothered about it, to be honest. Certainly seemed to think it was pretty common. She said to mention it to the doctor when I saw her at my 24 week check but otherwise didn't think it was a concern.

I pressed her about it and asked if they sometimes went away on their own and she said that sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. So, sounds as uncommittal as your midwife! Have you managed to see the doctor yet?

NGPY Mon 05-Jan-04 14:01:34

Hi Georgina

Thanks for that update. I hope it has stayed away since we last talked about it!

I have been to the GP and got short shrift from her! Said it was v. small, she couldn't actually be sure it was a hernia, if it was, then nothing to worry about anyway etc.

I did ask her if it would get worse and worse as my abdomen expands with pregnancy (visions of belly splitting open in rather horrific way - yes I know that sounds mad, but when you're hormonal and pregnant...) and she was very unconcerned about it.

Although that's reassuring in it's way, the area has been quite tender the last couple of days, so I've resolved to keep an eye on it and go and see her again if it gets worse.

Feel rather an idiot for getting upset about it now! One of the many indignities of pregnancy.

Thanks for the update

GeorginaA Mon 05-Jan-04 14:12:15

It hasn't really stayed away unfortunately. Not to the extent of those previous times (i.e. a definite lump coming out) but the area is sore and occasionally there does feel like a particularly sore bit can be "pushed back in" so I think it sounds very much like yours. It may be that by limiting lifting it hasn't been as bad.

I'm actually quite reassured by their indifference even though it feels like a "big deal" to me. I'm hanging on to the hope that when the stomach muscles go back into place after pregnancy that everything that's supposed to be on the inside goes back there

GeorginaA Sun 11-Jan-04 07:43:25

NGPY - don't know if you're still reading this, but thought I'd give you an update.

Mine's got better again and I hardly notice it. It's suddenly dawned on me that there's a connection between this time and last time I said it got better - it's a few days after I've had an antenatal yoga class. With the extended break over Christmas (hence no classes) I wonder if that's why it got worse again for a bit?

Anyway, it may just be coincidence, but I thought I'd let you know in case there's a similar class near you that might help.

NGPY Mon 12-Jan-04 07:40:02

Hi Georgina

Thanks for your message. I haven't had any further trouble and the soreness has eased off too, thank goodness. I am planning to do ante natal yoga classes - thanks for reminding me! Didn't plan to book until scan, which is not for another ten days. I'm finding the wait really tedious not least because I'm very bored with this alter ego and want to switch back to my own name!

Thanks again, hope all continues well

GeorginaA Thu 05-Feb-04 16:25:09

Another update for you NGPY: I saw my doctor today and mentioned it and she's not worried at all. She said it's extremely unlikely that it won't just sort itself out after the baby is born (although she said it might take a little while for the muscles to become stronger and close the gap). Was very reassuring and I thought I'd pass it on.

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