Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. But one of the tiniest places on your body that changes the most is your belly button. Think about it. It’s right smack in the middle of your growing belly and therefore bound to stretch (and mutate) as your tummy gets bigger and bigger.
You might feel that your belly button gets flat and almost disappears during pregnancy. Or, the exact opposite happens and your belly button goes from an “inie” to an “outie” overnight. This is called a protruding navel.
Q. So what causes your belly button to protrude?
A. Your rapidly expanding uterus pushes your abdomen forward and causes your belly button to pop.
Q. When should I expect this change to occur?
A. A protruding navel usually starts poking its way out around the end of the second trimester (oh and your nipples might do the same thing too thanks to all of those hormones running through you).
Q. Is there anything I can do about it?
A. Nope. No matter what happens to your belly button during pregnancy, chances are it will be back to it’s normal position a few months after you give birth. If you don’t like the way it looks under clothing, you can always try putting a piece of tape on it to strap it down.
Q. I have my belly button pierced. Should I take the ring out during pregnancy?
A. Ask your medical practitioner what’s right for you. Although it is likely you’ll want to take it out at some point as it may become uncomfortable.
Q. My belly button hurts. Why?
A. This is typically caused by the stretching of the skin on your abdomen. However, any pain should be reported to your medical practitioner. Sometimes women develop umbilical hernias during pregnancy. This is a congenital condition (meaning you’ve been this way since you were born). The hernia may have been small or did not cause any symptoms, but now that you are growing and gaining weight stress has been put on the hernia making it more noticeable.
Q. My belly button is itchy. What’s up with that?
A. As your skin stretches it may become irritated and itchy. Keep it well hydrated with lotion for relief.
Remember that changes to your belly button during pregnancy are totally normal and just a few months post-partum, it will go back into place. Although it might be a bit more stretched out than you remember. It’s just one more sign you’re a mama now.