An umbilical hernia in newborns is a common occurrence. It develops due to a weakness of the abdominal muscles in the navel, which is why abdominal tissues or organs protrude. This defect can be detected even at the birth of a child, but it is often caused by the tendency of the infant to constipation, obesity, or because he cries for a long time and often cries. Many parents are unaware of this fact, they do not know what to do and how to treat an umbilical hernia in newborns at home, so we decided to talk about the problem in more detail.
What are the symptoms of pathology?
Umbilical hernias are more common in infants with low birth weight or premature babies, as well as in children with Down syndrome and other genetic diseases. Thus, the overall morbidity in infants is from 0.4 to 2% and is diagnosed in 30% of newborns born for up to 35 weeks. Boys pathology occurs more often than girls.
Sometimes you can immediately see a hernia: the bulge on the abdomen becomes especially noticeable when the child screams from crying, laughs, coughs strongly. Its size varies from the size of peas to a small plum (from 1 to 5 cm in diameter). Sometimes, even if the baby stops crying, the protrusion around the navel does not disappear and becomes hard and painful when touched. Vomiting, constipation, severe bloating, pale complexion in this condition may be signs of more serious disease – pinching of a hernia. In this case, immediate medical assistance is required.
Why does a baby have an umbilical hernia?
Through the umbilical cord during pregnancy, nutrients from the mother to the fetus. After birth, the umbilical cord is cut, and the navel begins to heal. Sometimes there is a gap in the abdominal wall that can develop into an umbilical hernia in newborns.
How is the examination
During the examination, the doctor may gently press on the child’s abdomen and observe how the skin behaves, whether a lump is felt around the navel. Along the way, the doctor asks questions about the symptoms that parents noticed in their baby. In order to make a final diagnosis and assess the severity of a hernia, the doctor may prescribe an ultrasound imaging of the problem area, an x-ray. In addition, the pediatrician often gives direction to a blood test, urine, to eliminate signs of infection.
How to remove an umbilical hernia: treatment methods
Approximately 90% of cases of an umbilical hernia in newborns are cured by themselves, within 3-4 years. The time required for closing probably depends on the size of the hole. Most umbilical hernias with a diameter of less than 0.5 cm are cured spontaneously in a child before he reaches the age of two. If it does not pass before 4 years, it is important to consult a doctor again, as surgery may be necessary due to bowel obstruction and the risk of developing other complications. Never ignore the appearance of discomfort or abdominal pain in your child!
If a hernia does not decrease but grows, then, most likely, the child will need surgery. The surgeon will make a mini-incision along the folds on the baby’s belly, placing the hernia sac back into the belly, and close the opening with Self-absorbable threads or special glue. An umbilical hernia is fixed during surgery with adhesive tape, that is, the baby usually returns home the same day the procedure was performed.
Methods of non-surgical treatment of a hernia
Parents should understand that it is very important to start treatment correctly and in a timely manner. Experts in such cases recommend a massage course and the implementation of special exercises. In addition to physical therapy, wearing of orthopedic products is prescribed: a bandage or belt that exerts local pressure on the navel, which prevents a hernia from going beyond the abdominal wall.
Special dressings with daily use have a positive effect on muscle tone. Made from special elastic materials, they absorb moisture well and have an adjustable velcro belt. Wearing such fixatives is one way to prevent the development of ailment.
To get rid of the protrusion of the navel and the area around the umbilical ring helps a special plaster with a soft cloth pad in the middle. Usually used for complete healing of the navel (after childbirth) and sealed after examination by a surgeon. In general, medical patches, there are several types, so you need to glue a particular product after the doctor shows the parents how to properly apply and fix the crease on the abdomen.
Prevention of an umbilical hernia in newborns
The appearance of a hernia in a child is easier to prevent than to treat:
- Do not let the baby cry for a long time;
- Follow the diet and regular emptying of the intestines of the child;
- Adjust breastfeeding.
The information is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional help.