Hernia in Babies: Causes and How to Overcome It

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Hernia in Babies, What to Do If Your Child Has It?

Did you know that hernias can be experienced by children, even when they are still babies? Read on to learn what you should do to treat a hernia in a baby.

What is a Hernia in Babies?

One mother told the story of how her son, who was only one year and two months old, suffered from a very painful hernia.

At that time, the mother was bathing her son. He noticed that there was a small, barely perceptible lump near his groin.

At first he did not suspect and thought that the condition did not bother his son because he did not show any other symptoms or pain. However, he was surprised to see that the lump had suddenly gotten bigger.

The mother also realized that her son was in a lot of pain because he often cried. That’s why he decided to take him to the doctor to check and find out what happened to his son.

According to the doctor, the condition of his son had a type of hernia in infants called an inguinal hernia. This condition requires immediate treatment through surgery.

The mother shared that prior to the operation, she was advised not to give her child anything to eat or drink for six hours. Fortunately, the operation, which took about 30-45 minutes, went smoothly.

He was very grateful because he was able to know the condition his son was experiencing at the right time so that it could reduce the greater pain.

A hernia is a condition that occurs when part of an organ or tissue (such as part of the intestine) protrudes into an unusual area. This part of the organ emerges through an opening or weak area in the muscle wall, resulting in a bulge or lump.

Hernias are generally experienced by adults. However, it turns out that hernias in infants can also occur.

Causes of Hernias in Babies

hernia in babies

Inguinal hernia is a type of hernia that often occurs in infants or young children.

Inguinal hernia is divided into two, namely medial inguinal hernia and lateral inguinal hernia. If the lateral inguinal hernia sac reaches the scrotum (testicles), the hernia is called a scrotal hernia.

Hernias consist of soft tissue, pouch, and hernia contents. The soft tissue referred to here is the intestine. So through an opening in the groin, the intestines descend from the abdomen to the scrotum (testicles).

Causes of Hernia Occurs When the Baby is in the Mother’s womb

This condition is usually caused by a small sac that pierces the inguinal ring located near the groin. The inguinal ring opens while the baby is in the womb, and closes as soon as the baby is born.

But in some cases, the sac can push through the inguinal ring, and into the groin. This usually manifests as a lump that appears and disappears, and can also “pop” when the child is tense or crying.

In addition to inguinal hernias, other types of hernias in infants are umbilical hernias. An umbilical hernia occurs when a small hole in a baby’s abdominal muscles doesn’t close after birth. This can cause the intestines and fluids to “spit out,” causing a lot of pain.

It can usually be identified by a lump in the child’s abdomen, near the navel.

In addition, the MD Web page writes, when you are pregnant, the umbilical cord is connected to your baby’s abdominal muscles through a small opening. It usually closes after the baby is born. Otherwise, the remaining gap is called an umbilical hernia. If the intestines and fluids penetrate them, they cause the stomach to bulge or swell.

Quoting Web MD again, the way the doctor cuts or clamps the umbilical cord when your child is born does not affect whether an umbilical hernia will form or not.

Differences in the Causes of Hernias in Adults

Adults can also get an umbilical hernia. Adult umbilical hernias often occur over time as abdominal pressure rises. You may experience this because:

  • Chronic cough
  • Extra stomach fluid
  • Problems urinating due to a large prostate
  • Constipation
  • Obesity
  • Straining during childbirth or weightlifting

Related article : Umbilical Hernia; navel navel in babies, is it dangerous?

Symptoms of Hernia in Babies

As quoted from the health page WebMD, Parents You will be able to see hernias in babies most clearly when your baby cries, coughs, or strains while trying to have a bowel movement.

The process of crying, coughing, and straining puts pressure on your little one’s stomach. While your child is resting, you may not be able to see the hernia. Usually, they don’t get sick.

The pediatrician can tell if a hernia is present during a physical exam.

Parents may want to watch for and watch for signs of a hernia progressing to a more severe level, which is when the intestines have become trapped in the opening and cannot re-enter. Doctors call it an incarcerated hernia. Symptoms include:

  • Pain around the navel area
  • Swelling in the area
  • Color change in the navel area
  • Throw up.

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your baby to the emergency room.

Risk Factors for Hernia in Babies

Stanford Children writing, hernias are more common in children who have 1 or more of the following risk factors:

  • Born early or premature
  • Having a parent or sibling who had a hernia as a baby
  • Have Cystic Fibrosis
  • Have developmental dysplasia of the hip, a condition present at birth
  • Became a boy with undescended testicles. This means the testes do not move into the scrotum before birth.
  • Having problems with the urinary tract or reproductive organs

How to Diagnose a Hernia in Babies

To see if you have an umbilical hernia, the doctor will feel and look at the area. They will also ask for your symptom history.

Diagnosis by CT Scan

Your doctor may try to see if they can push the herniated bulge back into your abdomen. Sometimes, your doctor may suggest that you do a CT scan to check for complications.

How to Cope and Treatment

Generally, umbilical hernias are harmless and are neither painful nor uncomfortable and therefore do not require special treatment. However, this condition can cause pain and discomfort.

Umbilical hernias in babies usually appear when they cry, which causes the baby’s belly button to protrude. Several factors that increase the risk of developing an umbilical hernia are because babies are born prematurely and have low birth weights.

hernia in babies

Umbilical hernias usually go away on their own after the baby is one or two years old. But sometimes, this condition can last longer. If the umbilical hernia does not heal until entering the age of four years, it is advisable to immediately see a doctor to find out what treatment steps need to be taken.


Meanwhile, an inguinal hernia needs to be treated through a surgical procedure to push back the lump and to strengthen the weak parts of the abdominal wall. This procedure will be performed if the hernia causes symptoms severe enough and if complications arise that are serious enough to prevent serious complications from occurring.

Complications that may occur is an obstructed inguinal hernia, where part of the intestine gets stuck in the inguinal canal and causes nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, accompanied by a painful lump in the groin.

Even though, Parents there is no need to worry about which surgery to do because this operation is a common procedure.

The most important thing to note is that you should be able to pay attention to the signs of a hernia in the baby. This usually manifests as a bulge that appears and reappears, causing pain to your baby, especially when touched.

By knowing the signs early, of course, can help save your baby or child from pain and all the risks that he can feel in the future.

When to go to the doctor?

Call your pediatrician right away if your little one’s hernia shows signs of:

  • Turn red or change color
  • Hurtful
  • Causes symptoms of vomiting or fever

Stanford Children write if Parents If you notice swelling near your child’s belly button or in the groin area, have your child checked by his or her healthcare provider.

Key points about hernias in children

  • A hernia is when part of the intestine pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles.
  • A hernia creates a soft lump or bulge under the skin.
  • Hernias that occur in the navel area are called umbilical hernias.
  • Hernias that occur in the groin area are called inguinal hernias.
  • Surgery is needed to treat an inguinal hernia. Umbilical hernia closes by itself.
  • In some cases, the hernia can get stuck. The blood supply may be blocked to part of the intestine. This is a medical emergency.

Those are the things related to hernia in babies that should be Parents know. Immediately contact the doctor if your child shows any worrying symptoms as described above. I hope this helps.

Article updated by: Kalamula Sachi

Read also:

Hernia In Girls, Could It Happen?

How to tell the difference between an umbilical hernia and a dodong navel during pregnancy

Child’s testicles do not descend, what are the risks and how is it treated?

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