Hernia During or After Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

A hernia is the result of an organ or tissue protruding through an opening in the muscles. While a hernia can occur in many areas of the body, they most commonly develop in the abdominal and groin areas.

Hernia During Pregnancy

The pressure placed on the abdominal walls increases in intensity as the pregnancy progresses and as the baby increases in size; this pressure is often enough to cause a portion of the intestine or fatty tissue to protrude through a weakened abdominal muscles, resulting in what is known as an abdominal hernia.

Other types of hernias common during pregnancy include:

  • Umbilical hernias; the most common form of hernia during pregnancy and occurring right at the navel.
  • Paraumbilical hernias; a hernia occurring in the front portion of the abdominal wall, but not right at the belly button.
  • Inguinal hernia; a type of hernia that occurs less frequently and is the result of groin muscles that have been weakened by constant pressure of the uterus.

Developing a hernia during the course of your pregnancy is not always an immediate concern; in fact, most physicians recommend waiting until after you give birth to have the hernia treated. However, hernias rarely, if ever, go away on their own and must eventually be treated. Left untreated, a hernia will progressively worsen in severity and eventually become more serious can eventually lead to life-altering complications.

Hernia During Labor

While developing a hernia during pregnancy can be a cause of concern for expecting mothers, it’s reassuring to know that they rarely interfere or prevent a normal, healthy vaginal delivery. Most physicians consider small hernias not to be a serious health concern and often recommend women proceed with normal labor, as it would naturally occur.

However, some hernias, especially those that are large or located low in the abdomen, may be a cause for concern. After evaluating the severity of the hernia, your doctor might recommend a C-section to deliver your baby.

 

Diagnosis of a Hernia

Most hernias are diagnosed as part of regular physical exam and assessment of your reported symptoms and recent medical history. External hernias often cause a visible bulge that is observable during the physical exam. An internal hernia is a bit more challenging to diagnose and may require an imaging test, such as an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan, in order to confirm the diagnosis.

Causes of a Hernia During Pregnancy

Hernias typically develop as a result of muscle weakness and increased stress, pressure, or straining on or around the weakened muscle. The majority of hernias are congenital, meaning they are a condition that is present from birth. While anyone can develop a hernia, you often never notice one until it protrudes during your pregnancy.

Risk factors that increase your chances of hernia during pregnancy include:

  • Carrying twins or multiples;
  • Experiencing long labors during previous pregnancies;
  • Having a hernia that was previously repaired;
  • Being obese.

Other causes contributing to hernias include:

  • Lifting heavy objects;
  • Increased abdominal pressure;
  • Straining associated with bowel movements;
  • Chronic and intense sneezing and/or coughing.

 

Treatment of Hernia While Pregnant

Many physicians will advise against surgical treatment of a hernia until after your baby is born. While surgery is often the only effective way to treat a hernia, there are several available options to treat and relieve pain and discomfort associated with a hernia during pregnancy.

“Hernia During Pregnancy – American Pregnancy Association.” 19 Feb. 2017, http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/hernia-during-pregnancy/.

Compression provided by an abdominal binder relieves hernia-associated pain and reduces abdominal pressure, which prevents the hernia from increasing in size. Using a pre-partum or postpartum abdominal binder:

  • Supports the muscles of your abdomen, reducing pressure and relieving pain associated with a hernia;
  • Promotes increased circulation, promoting healing and decreased swelling;
  • Makes it easier to walk or engage in comfortable physical activity without pain;
  • Provides strength and support to the abdominal muscles.

Surgery to fix a hernia while pregnant should only be considered in the rare case that the hernia is causing a risk to you or to your baby. Typically, physicians recommend delaying postpartum surgery to repair a hernia until a full recovery has been made, which can be anywhere between 3 and 6 months after giving birth.

Surgery to repair a hernia in the abdominal region begins with a tiny incision near the base of the navel. The herniated organ or tissue is corrected by returning it to the abdominal cavity; the abdominal incision is then stitched closed.

After hernia surgery, a postpartum abdominal binder has been found to be useful for:

  • Assisting with healing of the surgical incision;
  • Relieve pain associated with the surgery;
  • Reducing swelling;
  • Supporting the strengthening of the abdominal muscles.

Prognosis

It is estimated that hernias may reoccur or reappear in nearly 10% of surgically repaired cases; most patients opting to surgically repair a hernia have little to no issue after surgery. Women who have a hernia surgically repaired prior to a pregnancy are at an increased risk of recurrence during subsequent pregnancies; as are women who become pregnant with multiples, have had previously long labors while giving birth, and are obese.

 

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Pelvic and Perineal Pain After Childbirth Delivery

Table of Contents

The pelvic region of the body is the lowest part of the abdomen between the hip bones. The perineum in women refers to the area between the vagina and anus. Pelvic and perineal pain involves discomfort in either or both areas.

Symptoms

Because the pelvic area and perineum are located near various organs, nerves, and muscles, pelvic and perineal pain is very common in women. The pain may come and go or be constant. The quality of the pain may vary based on the cause. The pain may be sharp, burn, or ache. Depending on the cause of the pain, symptoms may worsen when you move or use the bathroom.

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Diagnosis

In some cases, pelvic and perineal pain can be treated at home and does not require medical attention. But if symptoms become worse or persist, it’s a good idea to see your healthcare provider. Since pelvic and perineal pain can have many causes, it may take a little trial and error to make an accurate diagnosis.
To diagnose the condition, your doctor will perform a physical exam and review your symptoms. Additional tests may be ordered, such as blood tests to look for signs of a pelvic infection. A pelvic ultrasound may also be performed to check for cysts or inflammation.

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Causes

Pelvic and perineal pain can have many causes. In women, it can arise from issues related to the pelvic organs, nerves, ligaments, and muscles. For example, cysts, endometriosis, and fibroids can lead to pelvic and perineal pain.

In addition, some of the more common causes include:

  • Postpartum pain: After giving birth, it’s not uncommon for new moms to develop pelvic and perineal pain. The ligaments and joints of the pelvis often have added stress placed on them during pregnancy and delivery. Perineal pain can also develop due to stretching, tearing or an incision of the perineum during childbirth.
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction: Pelvic floor dysfunction involves a problem tightening and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor. It can develop as a complication from a vaginal birth. In addition to pelvic and perineal pain, pelvic floor dysfunction can also cause a frequent need to urinate, urine leakage, and constipation.
  • Adhesions: Pelvic adhesions are scar tissue that can develop due to prior surgery including cesarean sections. In addition to pelvic tenderness, adhesions may also cause infertility and painful intercourse.

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Treatment

Treatment for pelvic and perineal may vary depending on the underlying cause. In many instances, pain can be treated at home with the following:

  • Wear an abdominal binder or compression garment: An abdominal binder or compression garment provides extra support to the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic area. It may be especially helpful if the pain is postpartum related.
  • Apply ice: Applying ice to the painful area may decrease swelling and help ease the pain. Place a cold pack on the painful area for about ten minutes three or four times a day.
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication: Over the counter, anti-inflammatory medication, such as acetaminophen may reduce discomfort.
  • Soak in a warm tub: Soaking in warm water may help improve blood flow to the area and promote relaxation, which might decrease pain. Instead of a soak in the tub, you can also apply a heating pad to the area.

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Prognosis

The prognosis for women with pelvic and perineal pain is good. Usually, most causes of pelvic and perineal are not serious, and the condition can be treated at home. Most women recover well by using a combination of the above treatments.

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What Happens When You Pass Your Due Date?

If you don’t go into labor until past your due date, never fear! It’s actually very normal to do this. In fact, the due date that you were given originally by the doctor is an estimation of when you’ll give birth. If it is a few days or a week past when you thought you’d deliver, know that you’ll be giving birth very soon.

Here is what happens when you pass your due date:

The doctor or midwife becomes more involved in monitoring the baby.

If you’ve reached the 40-week mark and still haven’t delivered, the medical professional will be checking up on you and your child more often.

  • They’ll want to make sure that the amniotic fluid level is adequate and that the baby’s heart rate and weight are where they should be.
  • The larger a baby is, the harder it becomes to deliver them vaginally. If you will need to be induced, the doctor or midwife will send you to the hospital right away to ensure that you’re able to safely give birth to your baby without complications.

You may be induced for safety reasons.

Although it isn’t a concern if a baby is smaller than eight pounds, there is still a risk of the child being stillborn.

  • It doesn’t occur often but becomes a greater concern once you’ve reached the 40th week of pregnancy.
  • If your cervix is already dilated, you’ll have no problem being successfully induced.
  • This prevents you from needing to have a C-section to deliver the baby. You’ll be able to deliver the child vaginally without issue.

 

Wait until the doctor tells you its time to deliver.

In many cases, you’ll simply need to be patient. Even though the anticipation of delivering is high, it will be over with before you know it.

  • Enjoy the extra time you spend pregnant.
  • Engage in some much-needed self-care. When your baby is born, you’ll seldom be alone.
  • Enjoy a nice bubble bath, give yourself a soothing belly massage, listen to some beautiful music, and think about how wonderful life with baby will be once he or she arrives.

It’s a moment to reflect, rest, and relax.

Passing your due date may be alarming at first, but it’s actually nothing to worry about.

It’s an estimate of when the child will be born, not a guarantee. If your due date passes, use the time to catch up on rest, pen thank you notes for baby shower gifts, and even start a baby book. There are many productive ways to spend your time before your child arrives, so enjoy it while you can because soon, you’ll have a little person to think about.

Bellefit offers post-natal girdles and corsets that allow you to get your pre-baby body back quickly. Available in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles, our products are precisely what you need during and after pregnancy. Get the support that you require by choosing undergarments that are comfortable, breathable, long lasting, and effective at slimming you down by visiting Bellefit.com.

Diastasis Recti: Everything You Need to Know

The rectus abdominis muscles are found on the abdomen and are commonly referred to as the abs or “6 pack” muscles. There is a small band of tissue, called the linea alba, that connects the right and left side of the rectus abdominis muscles and is located at the midline of the body.

Definition

Diastasis recti is a condition in which there is a weakening of the linea alba allowing for an abnormally large separation between the rectus abdominis muscles. This widening of the linea alba allows for bulging of the abdomen and an appearance of still appearing pregnant after delivery.

Diagnosis

Diastasis recti is usually diagnosed through a physical examination with your doctor.

  • You may lay on the exam table with the abdomen exposed and slowly perform a sit up, causing the rectus abdominis muscles to contract. With diastasis recti, there would be a bulge at the location of the linea alba, between the two rectus muscles.
  • Measurements may also be taken at different levels of the linea alba during contraction and rest of the rectus muscles to determine the distance and if this exceeds the normal width of the linea alba.

If the diagnosis is not apparent on exam, but there is a question about diastasis recti, an ultrasound can be performed to better visualize the linea alba and any separation of this tissue.

Causes

Pregnancy can increase the risk for the development of diastasis recti, but this does not mean all women who are pregnant will develop diastasis recti. The linea alba and rectus muscles are stretched during pregnancy due to weight gain and increase in abdominal girth. This increase causes the pressure of the abdomen to increase and the further stretching of the linea alba, potentially leading to diastasis recti. During the postpartum periods,the linea alba can either decrease, stay the same, or increase. If there continues to be separation between 3-6 months postpartum, the diastasis recti will likely not close without treatment.

 

Treatment

The treatment of diastasis recti is aimed at strengthening the abdominal muscles and offloading pressure of the abdominal muscles.

  • A postpartum exercise program, as well as the Tupler method, which is use of an abdominal binder.
  • Bellefit abdominal binders work to improve diastasis recti by taking the pressure away from the abdominal muscles, in turn, allowing for the tissue to rest and heal.
    • The abdominal binders are typically worn for 18 weeks with an exercise program started after 6 weeks.
  • The exercise program is aimed at strengthening the abdominal muscles.

Prognosis

The majority of women that are diagnosed with diastasis recti that use an abdominal binder in conjunction with abdominal strengthening exercises, can typically heal their diastasis recti. For the small subset of women that are unable to heal with conservative therapy, there are several surgical options available.

 

Hip Pain Caused by Pregnancy: What You Need to Know.

Hip pain can be debilitating — especially when you are tasked with carrying a baby. The extra pressure and strain on your joints causes hip pain that pregnant women often misdiagnose and neglect to seek treatment for.

Definition

Hip pain is a condition that millions of Americans face. Pregnancy can aggravate the hip pain that you were already dealing with, or you could find yourself with a newly acquired affliction. Around 20% of pregnant women report experiencing hip pain specifically during pregnancy, typically persistent on the outside of their hip, upper thigh, or outer buttocks.

 

Diagnosis

If you are unsure about the source and severity of your hip pain, see your physician as soon as possible.

Your doctor will examine your hip area to look for areas that are tender, painful, and/or swollen. You will also be asked to stand, lift your leg, and rotate it (to demonstrate your full range of motion). Your physician may even order additional tests — such as an X-RAY, CAT scan, or MRI — to further diagnose your problem, as well as a blood test to see if you have elevated levels of certain antibodies.

 

Causes

Hip pain comes from various sources during pregnancy. Most women start to develop the joint pain during the second trimester, right as you start to develop a “baby bump.”

  • The change in your walking style, the loosening of your ligaments holding together the sacroiliac joints, and sleeping on your side later in pregnancy all can add to hip pain.

Another cause is pressure on your sciatic nerve, formally called Sciatica.

Sciatica can cause:

  • pain;
  • numbness, and/or tingling in the buttocks, hips, and thigh.

This is where appointments with your physician are especially useful, as Sciatica can lead to serious complications.

Treatment

One of the most affordable and effective ways to treat your hip pain is to purchase and use an abdominal binder. These binders have also been known to help hip pain after birth, as you can adjust the abdominal binder for your new baby-free belly. To learn more about the benefits of wearing an abdominal binder here.

  • Stretching,
  • heat therapy, and
  • prenatal massages can help relieve pain as well.

Listen to your body and listen to what works for you and your baby.

Prognosis

Most pregnant women experience worsening hip pain as their pregnancy furthers along. If you are at a point where the pain is unbearable, see your physician for treatment. The added stress should be alleviated as quickly as possible so that your hip pain will not develop into something worse.

Sources

Ernst, H. (2018, August 15). How to Relieve and Prevent Hip Pain During Pregnancy. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/pregnancy-hip-pan#home-remedies

Diagnosing Hip Problems. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2018, from https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/where-it-hurts/hip-pain/diagnosis/diagnose-hip-pain.php

Hip Pain During Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment. (2017, September 20). Retrieved November 15, 2018, from http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/hip-pain-during-pregnancy/

Vivek, S. (2017, July 24). 8 Most Effective Ways To Relieve Hip Pain During Pregnancy. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from https://www.momjunction.com/articles/most-effective-ways-to-relieve-hip-pain-during-pregnancy_0077926/#gref

 

How Long Will it Take Your Belly to Go Down After Birth?

If you want to know how long it will take for your belly to go down after giving birth, it depends largely on how much you weighed at the time of delivery, the habits that you currently have concerning diet and exercise, and whether or not you’re breastfeeding. Because most women are very motivated to lose weight after giving birth, they’re likely to lose the extra pounds that they packed on rather quickly.

You will notice a significant change in your stomach within 24 hours of giving birth.

 

The First 24 Hours

Within the first 24 hours, most women lose up to 12 pounds of weight.

This includes:

  • the baby,
  • blood,
  • fluids,
  • and amniotic fluid.

If you have a fairly prominent pooch, you’ll notice that it decreases somewhat automatically after giving birth. You’ll see a noticeable difference in how your stomach looks and feels after delivering.

 

Your higher need to urinate a week after birth will help in losing weight.

 

A Week Later

Your need to urinate increases after birth because your body is expelling excess fluid. You’re technically losing weight during this time but it shouldn’t be something you fixate on.

  • You’ll be eating an extra 500 calories a day if you’re nursing a child because you want them to get adequate nutrition.
  • If you plan on breastfeeding, you won’t see weight loss as quickly as women who choose to bottle feed their child.

Wait at least 2 weeks after giving birth to measure yourself.

 

Two Weeks Later

Experts suggest waiting to weigh yourself until after two weeks has passed. The number of hormones that you still have in your body is rather high at this stage.

If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll also be eating more than you usually do to provide sustenance for your child.

  • Track your waistline with a measuring tape after wearing a Bellefit girdle or corset instead.

 

 

A Month Later

It isn’t unusual to see a weight loss of 20 pounds or more the month after delivery. Many women experience a big drop in weight. That’s why it’s important to attend all of your post-pregnancy check-ups, so the doctor can monitor your weight and make sure you’re back on track to reaching your pre-pregnancy weight.

The medical professional will give you advice on exercises you can do and other ways to meet your fitness goals safely and quickly.

How Bellefit Products Help

You can help your belly go down after birth by wearing a Bellefit girdle or corset. You’ll see remarkable results in a matter of no time. In fact, looking at their testimonials page is a good place to start to familiarize yourself with the results you’ll receive from Bellefit. You’ll see how their products work and what they’ve done to change the lives of the women that wear them for good.

  • Avoid the “baby blues” by working on your belly right away.
  • Be patient with yourself as you adjust to a new routine involving your little one.

Before you know it, you’ll see satisfying results with a flatter stomach and noticeable weight loss. If you’re worried about being overweight or holding on to pregnancy pounds for long, don’t be because you won’t have a problem losing weight as long as you have a plan in place.

Your Tilted or Retroverted Uterus

A tilted uterus or retroverted uterus is a condition that affects one in five women. Although it sounds scary, it doesn’t affect your ability to get pregnant, but it can cause pain and make your delivery harder. It’s something you should be aware of, so you can prepare for it accordingly.

This guide will help you get to know the cause of your tilted uterus, ways to take good care of your body and have a healthier, pain-free pregnancy.

Symptoms That Women with a Tilted Uterus Face

There are many symptoms that indicate that you have a tilted uterus. You won’t know that you have one until you become pregnant. Even then, it can be difficult to determine whether it’s the problem that you’re having until after the first trimester is over.

  • Back pain is a common symptom of any pregnancy, but it’s also a sign that the uterus is tilted.
  • Having a hard time peeing is another problem for some women. The bladder doesn’t empty properly because the uterus is angled in a way that prevents successful urination.
  • Ultrasounds are also problematic because the baby isn’t where he or she should be in your abdomen.

The doctor may need to do a transvaginal ultrasound opposed to a trans-abdominal ultrasound. This allows them to get a look at the baby after inserting an ultrasound wand into your vagina.

Risk Factors Pregnant Women Should Be Aware Of

Knowing what to expect if you are diagnosed with a tilted uterus helps you take better care of yourself. That way, you don’t experience symptoms unexpectedly or allow the condition to worsen and cause other problems to occur. Being empowered with knowledge allows you to make healthcare decisions on your own, based on how your body looks and feels, opposed to having someone make them for you.

Some of the risk factors that are of most concern to pregnant women are:

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Increased Bacteria
  • Back Labor
  • Delivery Difficulties
  • An Incarcerated Uterus

The last three risks on the list happen seldom but you should be aware of them. The uterus will eventually settle after you’ve given birth so there isn’t long-term damage. It shouldn’t affect your ability to get pregnant again at a future date.

Awareness and Precautionary Measures Count Double During Pregnancy

As with any other health concerns, awareness is key. You know your body better than anyone else does. That’s why it’s important to listen to its cues and to alert your doctor to any changes that you feel or notice while pregnant.

Preventative measures keep a minor medical condition from worsening. It also helps alleviate any fears that you might have about giving birth. Your primary care physician and OBGYN are great resources that you have access to before, during, and after your pregnancy, so don’t hesitate to ask for their advice and recommendations.

Comfortability is key during all stages of pregnancy.

Bellefit offers many products that help provide support to the back and abdomen during and after pregnancy. Prenatal support options include our Prenatal Cami and Prenatal Support Panty which are made from materials that stretch and breathe.