Hernia occurs when fatty tissues poke through the abdominal wall as a result of strain on the abdomen creating a bulging appearance, according to Kentucky’s UK Healthcare Clinic. Abdominal pressure from a developing fetus can cause a hernia in pregnant women. Hernia does not go away during pregnancy and may require surgery following the birth. Some women do not experience hernia symptoms during pregnancy, but other women report having pain and tenderness.
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Women who have an umbilical hernia during pregnancy may experience a painful bulge that continues to worsen and does not go away on its own, according to the website Just Mommies. An umbilical hernia occurs when a small hole or defect forms in the woman’s abdominal wall, causing tissue to poke through the umbilical area. This type of hernia is most often hereditary and usually does not cause problems until a woman becomes pregnant. Pregnancy weight gain can put additional stress on the weakened abdominal wall enlarging the hole and causing an abdominal bulge and/or pain. In most cases, surgery to correct the hernia is delayed until after delivery in order to ensure the safety of the mother and baby.
Pregnant women with femoral hernia may have a hard time moving around as the pregnancy progresses. The website Health Scout states that femoral hernia appears as a bulge in the upper thigh area just below the groin, near the femoral artery and several veins. Femoral hernias disrupt a pregnant woman’s life by limiting her ability to move around or ambulate depending on the size of the hernia, according to the website ToneHealth.org. This type of hernia may be triggered when pregnant women try to life objects that are heavy. A femoral hernia is considered the most serious hernia because it can cut off blood supply to the intestine and nearby organs, causing gangrene, a bacterial infection or even death.
Pregnant women may have tenderness at the site of a previous surgical site when they have ventral hernia. Ventral hernia occurs in pregnant women who previously had abdominal surgery, according to the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Pregnant women who are obese are also at risk for developing ventral hernia. This hernia occurs when scar tissue from a previous surgery is stretched during pregnancy. The stretched scar tissue then weakens the abdominal wall creating a bulge in the woman’s abdomen. Ventral hernias are usually located at the site of the old surgical scar and they are formed when a part of the bowel or intestines pushes through the weakened abdominal wall, creating a small hole. Pregnant women with ventral hernia may notice pain and tenderness in a previous surgical site when they cough, run and/or lift something heavy. Ventral hernias are more noticeable when lying down and may disappear when standing. They usually increase in size as the pregnancy progresses, but treatment is usually reserved until after pregnancy.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Just Mommies: Umbilical Hernia During Pregnancy
- ToneHealth.org: Hernia During Pregnancy
- Health Scout: Femoral Hernia
- Penn State: Milton S. Hersey Medical Center: Incisional Hernia
- UK Healthcare: Pregnancy Hernia
- Parents: Pregnancy Symptoms and Complaints: Umbilical Hernia
- Ladies Home Journal: I Developed a Hernia During Pregnancy
- Health Resources: Umbilical Hernia During Pregnancy