An umbilical hernia creates a soft swelling or bulge near the navel (umbilicus). If your baby has an umbilical hernia, you may notice the bulge only when he or she cries, coughs or strains. The bulge may disappear when your baby is calm or lies on his or her back.
Umbilical hernias in children are usually painless. Umbilical hernias that appear during adulthood may cause abdominal discomfort.
When to see a doctor
If you suspect that your baby has an umbilical hernia, talk with your child's pediatrician. Seek emergency care if your baby has an umbilical hernia and:
- Your baby appears to be in pain
- Your baby begins to vomit
- The bulge becomes tender, swollen or discolored
Similar guidelines apply to adults. Talk with your doctor if you have a bulge near your navel. Seek emergency care if the bulge becomes painful or tender. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications.