8 Main Causes Of Belly Button Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnant women go through a variety of discomforts during the whole nine months. Your body is going through both internal and external changes, and that is the reason for experiencing pain and discomfort. Belly button pain during pregnancy is one such common discomfort women experience. Not all women go through this, but if you feel belly pain during pregnancy, understand that it is not unusual.

Let’s discuss in detail why your navel might hurt? Is it normal, and so how to get relief and when to see a doctor?

8 Important reasons for navel pain during pregnancy

belly button pain during pregnancy

There are several reasons for experiencing sharp belly button pain during pregnancy. Depending upon various factors like your body shape, the elasticity of the skin, health condition and some other factors, you may or may not experience it. Most of the times, the pain is not dangerous, and it will go away once you deliver your baby. Let’s have a look into some of the common reasons:

  1. Skin stretch 

    You already know this, as your skin is going through a rigorous stretching game, it can develop itchiness, slight discomfort and stretch marks. As your belly button is in the center of stomach and when all these changes happen rapidly, it is natural to experience a pain there.


  1. Piercing 

    If you have pierced your belly button, then there are chances of facing belly button pain during your pregnancy. If the piercing has done long before, then you might not feel soreness. However, piecing during pregnancy has to be avoided because as your navel area becomes very sensitive during this time. If your belly ring is causing discomfort, get it removed by a professional. Instead, opt for rings that comes with medical quality plastic.


  1. Pressure from the uterus 

    In the early stages of your pregnancy, your uterus is pretty small and normal like how it was before. However, as you advance to the second trimester, it increases in size and finally reaches out beyond your pubic bone. When the uterus pops out, it puts a lot of pressure on your abdomen area and bellybutton as well. And, when you are full term or third trimester, the uterus grows to its full capacity and presses forwards to your bellybutton. All these activities may contribute to belly button pain or discomfort.


  1. Acute appendicitis

    Reason for extreme belly button pain may be due to acute appendicitis also. However, inflammation due to the appendix is very rare in pregnant women. If you have a severe fever, vomiting tendency or nausea along with pain on the right side of your belly button, then you need to consider it seriously. Therefore, if you experience any symptoms mentioned above, you need to consult a doctor immediately to prevent any further complications.

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  1. An umbilical hernia 

    An umbilical hernia is a common issue that occurs in pregnant women. It is nothing but a hole in the abdominal walls resulting intestinal tissues to poke through. The primary reason for pregnant women getting this type of a hernia is due to the constant pressure happening in the abdominal area.


Symptoms may vary from mild pain to significant discomfort. In most cases, it doesn’t require any immediate treatment. If you wish to remove a hernia, then surgery can be helpful. Laparoscopy surgeries are the preferred method to treat and remove an umbilical hernia.


However, doctors don’t recommend pregnant women doing a surgery as it involves several risks. Hence, it is better to wait until you give delivery if you wish to do surgery to remove a hernia. Having a natural delivery with an umbilical hernia is safe.


  1. Constipation 

    Gas buildup during pregnancy is a common problem, and it occurs mainly due to the increased levels of a hormone called progesterone. Whenever this hormone releases, it slows down the working of your intestine, and hence digestion doesn’t happen properly. The only way to relieve gas and constipation is to drink lots of water and to include fiber-rich foods in your diet. Performing light exercise can also help you to deal with the excessive gas formation.


  1. Braxton Hicks 

    Braxton Hicks contracts or false contractions are a common occurrence during final weeks of pregnancy. Many women have reported that the stomach muscles feel tighten up and a shooting pain occurs in the area surrounding the belly button. Your stomach might also feel hard during this time.


However, it is hard to differentiate actual labor contractions from Braxton Hicks. The only way to the differential between two is, real contractions will happen in short durations and will be almost unbearable. Braxton hicks generally occur due to dehydration, so it is advised to drink plenty of water to eliminate Braxton hicks and various other issues.


  1. Baby’s cord is causing the pain 

    It is a common misconception that you feel belly button pain whenever your baby pulls the umbilical cord. People say that baby’s umbilical cord is attached to your belly button and whenever your child pulls the cord, you feel the pain under the belly button.

It is a wrong explanation, because, first of all, your child’s is growing inside your uterus. Baby’s cord is connected to the placenta from your uterus. Moreover, your belly button is located outside the uterus, and hence this is scientifically wrong.

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How to relieve the bellybutton pain and discomfort?

Treatment offered for pain around belly button during pregnancy depends on the cause of the pain. In most of the cases, the pain will go away on its own, and you don’t require any treatment. In some cases, where treatment is needed, a slight dose of antibiotics would do. Here are some ways on how to relieve belly button pain.

Home remedies – Home remedies are the best way to treat sore bellybutton or stomach cramps. You can use any natural healing oils to get some relief from the pain under the belly button. Using DIY moisturizing cream to prevent the discomfort happening due to skin stretching will also give temporary relief.


Applying cocoa butter – Applying cocoa butter daily around the upper belly button area will help with managing the discomforts around the bellybutton. Several antibiotic creams can regularly be applied on your navel area to relieve bellybutton pain. It is better to get one prescribed by your doctor.


Cold compressing – Applying an ice pack over the bellybutton is where you feel the pain is a helpful remedy. The cold compression will help to relax the blood vessels, and hence it reduces the pressure. Instead of the ice pack, you can also place a pack of frozen vegetables around the belly button.


Yoghurt – Yoghurt is a rich source of protein and lactic acid; it also hydrates and moisturizes your skin. It removes toxins from your body and tightens the pores, helps remove dead skin and also reduces the appearance of wrinkles.


Apart from adding yogurt to your diet, you can also apply it on your belly, around the belly button and massage gently for a few minutes. No Need to wash it off with soap, simply wipe it off with warm water and it is over. What it does is, yogurt keeps your skin hydrates and relieves from the discomfort caused by skin stretching and dehydration.


Stay hydrated – Although this is not a direct remedy, hydrating your skin will keep it supple. Proper hydration can help with water retention and prevents further stretching of skin around the belly area. It is recommended to drink at least 10-12 glasses of water every day. Wear sunscreen whenever you go out because sun exposure can lead to skin problems.

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Symptoms of bellybutton pain due to an umbilical hernia

Not all sharp belly button pain is a symptom of an umbilical hernia during pregnancy. In some women, they will not be able to feel the pain like other. Whereas, in others, the pain can be felt and sometimes it can be severe as well.

If you have an umbilical hernia, there will be a physical lump on your belly button which you can experience. A dull pain around the belly button area will also be common if you suffer from a hernia. The pain usually comes whenever you are using the tissues around your stomach whenever you bend down to take things or sneeze hard. You may also face mobility issues when you advance to your later stages of pregnancy.

How to prevent bellybutton pain?

There is little that can be done to prevent bellybutton pain during pregnancy. In most cases, the slight pain around the belly button is due to the changes that happen to your body during gestation, and it is impossible to prevent.

Regarding an umbilical hernia also, there is no preventive measure you can take. What is good about getting pregnant while you have an umbilical hernia is, it doesn’t get larger. However, it is good to put pressure on the area around your belly button whenever you sneeze or laugh loudly as these can cause any discomfort or pain.

Can bellybutton pain due to a hernia hurt my baby?

An umbilical hernia during pregnancy will not harm your baby as your baby is safe inside your uterus. So a hole in your abdominal tissue wall is in no way going to affect your child. The slight discomfort due to a hernia will not affect you much, and your baby will never know! However, if you feel difficulty in eating due to it, it can affect your baby’s well-being.  In that case, you need to talk to your doctor regarding the situation and find out an alternative how to relieve the situation.

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Should I be concerned about bellybutton pain during pregnancy?

Due to changes happening in your body during each month of gestation, some amount of pain in the bellybutton areas is normal. Again, it all depends on your skin and to what degree it gets stretched. If you feel uncomfortable, do not panic, because this is common with the majority of pregnant women. Most women don’t experience it in the early pregnancy because it’s likely to start once your belly starts getting bigger.

However, apart from the discomfort, if you are feeling inside belly button pain accompanied by vomiting, nausea, bleeding or fever, you must take the appointment of a doctor immediately. While most of the times, belly button pain during pregnancy is just an aspect of gestation, don’t neglect the chance of an umbilical hernia. Although it is rare, the condition is serious, and you require medical monitoring.

If you feel something is wrong, it is recommended to talk to your midwife or doctor. Experience doctors will be able to evaluate your condition and will be able to suggest a treatment that is fine for your baby and you. If it is normal belly button pain, keep in mind that it will pass once your baby arrives.


If you have a natural or vaginal delivery, the hernia is not at all going to affect your baby. However, if you have already had a C-section earlier and now have an umbilical hernia, you need to talk to your doctor in the first week of pregnancy. It is also possible for you to develop a hernia after pregnancy as you undergo a lot of pressure on upper belly button area.

As medical science is advancing, we can always expect medical miracles in treating belly button pain during pregnancy. We are happy to receive your valuable feedback, as this may help to update the information and share with the readers.  Do write to us in the comment box.

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