Umbilical Hernia

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Umbilical Hernia is another problem that many preemies face and it can be heartbreaking to look at your little one and see a cherry-tomato sized ball where their belly button should be.
Everyone has their own, "cure" for an umbilical hernia and all of them will be tempting when you're faced with a growing belly button and a pediatrician suggesting the, "wait and see" approach.
For me, the worst part was being told there was nothing I could do.
My son's belly button grew to the size of a marble in an hour.
I felt helpless! Was I the cause? Maybe I didn't do enough to calm him during those colic episodes.
Maybe I did something wrong during pregnancy.
Well, it wasn't my fault and if your child has an umbilical hernia it is not your fault either.
Blood vessels from the umbilical cord enter the fetus through an opening in the abdominal muscle wall called the umbilical ring.
The umbilical ring usually closes before birth but in some full term and preemie babies, the ring does not fully close.
This small opening allows fat, intestine or fluid through causing a bulge near or in the belly button.
The opening usually closes by the time the child reaches 2 years of age, some doctors wait until age 4 before considering surgery.
No parent wants their child to have an imperfection but it is important that you do not try to correct the hernia yourself.
Do not bind or strap the hernia, do not place coins over the hernia.
Although some swear by these techniques, they may cause infection or cut off the blood supply resulting in an emergency situation.
My son is now 2 1/2 months old and his hernia is healing.
The bulge is getting softer and smaller, thank God! I tried putting a coin over his belly button and he vomited the entire 10 minutes it was on...
very scary! TIPS
  • Don't feel guilty, it really isn't your fault.
  • The hernia should go in when lightly pressed.
    (While the child is not crying or straining)
  • Seek immediate medical attention if the hernia is hard, does not go in when pressed or appears red and irritated.
  • Do not attempt to correct the hernia with home remedies.
  • Hernias usually correct themselves by age 2.
  • Hernias are rarely 1 inch across.
  • Did I mention, don't feel guilty?
My advice should take the place of a professional.
If you think your baby has a hernia seek medical attention.
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