Causes of hernia in premature babies and methods of its treatment

Newborn care4

  • 1 Symptoms of an umbilical hernia
  • 2 How to carry out treatment at home?
  • 3 Non-traditional methods of treatment

Hello, dear parents! In the article we want to discuss such a pathology as umbilical hernia. Let's consider the reasons for the deviation. You will learn how to carry out treatment at home. Get acquainted with non-standard methods of treatment - conspiracies.

Within 10 days after the birth of the baby, it is necessary to take special care of the umbilical wound. Read about the rules of care here. There are situations when parents notice a protrusion near the navel in their child. Moms and dads decide to show their child to the doctor. During the examination, a diagnosis of umbilical hernia . Many have heard about this pathology. Let's dive a little into the anatomy.

In the middle of the abdomen there is a “white line”, which is formed from ligaments. There are no muscles in this area. In the center there is a hole - the umbilical ring. The umbilical cord passes through this hole. Mother and fetus are connected by the umbilical cord, inside which there are vessels, arteries and veins. After the cord is cut, the vessels, arteries and veins are closed with connective tissue. Due to the fact that the abdominal muscles are not fully formed, an umbilical hernia appears.

The abdominal muscles will become stronger over time and make the ring tighter. In a newborn baby, the ring is weak and protrusion occurs through it:

  • peritoneum
  • intestinal loops

This is what an umbilical hernia looks like. All babies have a hernia. For some, the pathology is significantly pronounced, for others less so.

A real hernia is detected in the first month of a baby’s life. It is also diagnosed at a later period.

What is an umbilical hernia in newborns

According to medical terminology, a navel hernia in a newborn is a protrusion of the umbilical muscles in the center of the abdomen, the navel area. It looks like a hole located in the muscle tissue; the pathology occurs in a one-month-old baby. The disease is considered a common, harmless phenomenon and appears more often in girls than in boys. In the first month, the hernia develops and becomes visible to the naked eye, the protrusion is easily reduced, and there is a possibility of complete recovery by the first year of life.

Indicators of a child from birth to 1 month

Height 49.5-50.43 cm
Weight 3.330-3.530 kg

Head circumference 34-35 cm

Chest circumference 33-34 cm

The baby spends a significant part of the day (up to 20 hours) sleeping during the first month. A newborn, as a rule, sleeps in the frog position, that is, lying on his back, with his arms bent at the elbows and raised up, and with his legs bent at the knee joints and spread apart.

During this period, a newborn has five sleep states:

  • deep sleep, when the baby is absolutely relaxed, breathing slowly and evenly, eyes closed and face relaxed;
  • shallow sleep, when the child has more rapid, not quite even breathing, possible twitching of the arms and legs, you can see how the eyeballs move under the eyelids;
  • a drowsy state that occurs during feeding or before falling asleep, characterized by half-closed eyes;
  • wakefulness, when the baby is active, makes movements with the whole body, arms and legs;
  • Crying to indicate that the newborn is in discomfort, such as being hungry, scared, or wet.

In the first month, the baby exhibits the following motor skills: lying on his stomach, he tries to raise his head, and sometimes he even manages to hold it in this state for several seconds. In the first thirty days, the newborn will add about 600 grams to its initial weight and grow by approximately 3 centimeters; the head circumference will increase by 1.5 - 2 centimeters.

Signs of hernia in newborns

Parents should know the signs of an umbilical hernia in a baby. These include the following symptoms that worry the baby:

  • protrusion of the navel after the umbilical cord falls off, an illness forms after pushing;
  • over time, the protrusion increases, the muscles make it large;
  • swelling of the tummy;
  • when pressing on the navel area, the finger enters the peritoneum;
  • The baby shows anxiety during a tummy massage.

Does an umbilical hernia hurt?

In the first month of a newborn's life, a hernia is noticeable only when the baby cries or strains. The tummy swells slightly, and the formation grows and becomes noticeable even when the child is at rest. There is no pain or discomfort for the baby himself; he does not feel any discomfort. Rarely, an umbilical hernia can develop into a complicated formation; it can almost never be strangulated.


In newborns, symptoms of an umbilical hernia appear immediately after birth or in the first weeks of life.

In appearance, a hernia is a round or oval-shaped protrusion localized in the peri-umbilical region, which can easily be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. In this case, you can hear a gurgling sound. Often, due to weak tone of the rectus abdominis muscles, their divergence is observed. The size of the protrusion is determined by the diameter of the umbilical ring. If the ring is small, the hernia appears from time to time when the child cries or is in a restless position.

During palpation of the umbilical region, the finger seems to fall inward. Using this method, the size of the ring and the area surrounding the protrusion - the so-called edges of the hernial orifice - are determined. With a sufficiently large umbilical ring, swelling is constantly observed in the navel area, increasing with straining and crying. In this case, intestinal loops can exit into the hernial sac. Provoked by flatulence, difficulty defecating, and crying, an increase in intra-abdominal pressure leads to a significant increase in protrusion. At the same time, through the thin membrane you can often see part of the intestine, omentum, and internal organs of the baby. Reducing pressure returns the swollen organs to their places.

In the first few months after its occurrence, the protrusion tends to increase.


Umbilical hernia in infants occurs due to heredity. The opinion that the cause of a hernia is improper cutting of the umbilical cord in the maternity hospital is erroneous, because this does not in any way affect the development of the abdominal muscles. The following causes of hernia are distinguished:

  • congenital - develops due to anatomical features of the body, connective tissue dysplasia, weakness of the abdominal wall, in premature infants;
  • acquired - occurs as a result of frequent prolonged crying, the abdominal cavity tenses, internal organs experience pressure, provokes umbilical hernia, constipation, flatulence; the umbilical ring tightens slowly, which leads to the prolapse of intestinal loops or omentum beyond the abdominal wall;
  • Other reasons for the development of pathology are the early onset of walking, when the abdominal muscles receive an unusual load.

Treatment of umbilical hernia in newborns

Some pediatricians and surgeons, when examining a newborn, do not diagnose an umbilical hernia if the defect is small (up to 0.7 cm), and the protrusion is absent or can come out, but is easily reduced into the abdominal cavity. Then a diagnosis of enlarged umbilical ring is made. You can cure an umbilical hernia using the methods recommended by experts:

  • dynamic observation;
  • Placing the baby on a hard surface, stomach down, for a couple of minutes before feeding will help relieve symptoms;
  • fixation with a special Porofix plaster for 10-20 days;
  • from the age of three months, home massage is prescribed;
  • complex of therapeutic exercises;
  • If you follow all the recommendations, you can get rid of the disease by 3-5 years of age.

Special massage

If a newborn's navel protrudes strongly, a course of therapeutic massage is prescribed. It helps strengthen the abdominal muscles, narrow the ring and close the hernia without additional treatment or surgery. Before feeding, place your baby stomach down on a hard surface and leave for a few minutes. This should be started from the moment the umbilical wound heals.

To conduct a massage and learn the rules, contact a professional massage therapist. You yourself need to use warm hands to stroke the baby’s tummy with your palm in a clockwise direction with light stroking movements. Directions are made in one direction so as not to lead to painful sensations. Gentle, soothing movements from the sides to the navel and back will help strengthen the abdominal muscles. They are done before bed or after bathing, but not before meals.

Special bandage

For the prevention and treatment of congenital umbilical hernia in newborns, a special bandage is used. It is a wide elastic belt made of soft fabric with a hernia limiter in the form of a seal. Functions: support of the umbilical ring and hernial orifice, through which organs protrude under the skin, plus fixation of the abdominal cavity . Contraindications for use are diaper rash or rash.

The advantages of using a special bandage for treating young children include the following factors:

  • decrease in intra-abdominal pressure;
  • preventing an increase in hernial protrusion;
  • hypoallergenic fabric;
  • records pathology up to 5 cm in size;
  • easy to put on, take off, wash;
  • service life is limited to several years;
  • Among the disadvantages, they note the high price, the possibility of slipping (weak fixation), a feeling of discomfort, diaper rash, friction.

According to reviews, the best bandages are wide ones with Velcro fastening. They are easy to put on and take off, they are fixed in a secure place and are less likely to slip. Belts with adjustable lengths and different diameters of the limiter are available for sale for the treatment of pathology. Instructions for using a bandage for inguinal hernia:

  • the skin of the lower back and abdomen should be dry and clean before use;
  • spread the bandage and place the child on top with his back;
  • straighten the formation, press the limiter;
  • pull the belt tightly, but pull it tight;
  • fasten the fastener;
  • You need to wear the bandage with a break of 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours.

Medical patch

Reduction of a hernia in newborns can be carried out using medical patches Porofix, Chicco, Hartmann or a regular adhesive plaster. It is glued around the abdomen so that a fold appears in the navel area. The course lasts 10 days. If a regular adhesive plaster needs to be removed while swimming, then a special Porofix is ​​stuck on for the whole day. Its fabric is hypoallergenic and does not cause irritation.

How to seal an umbilical hernia in newborns

The reduction patch keeps the navel in the correct position, which promotes rapid healing of the umbilical ring and resorption of the hernia. The doctor should tape the umbilical area the first time, but parents can repeat this process themselves. The special patch consists of two parts that are tightened like a belt. The inner wall includes a layer of adhesive that does not irritate the delicate skin of a newborn.

Instructions for gluing the special Porofix patch include the following step-by-step description:

  • it is necessary to glue after the umbilical ring has completely healed; use is contraindicated for wounds;
  • if the navel protrudes, straighten the formation, tighten the rectus abdominis muscles to form folds over the navel;
  • a patch is glued to the umbilical opening, covered with folds;
  • Porofix is ​​left on the baby’s skin for 10 days, it cannot be removed, even during bathing; after the end of use, the doctor examines the newborn and decides to continue using the product;
  • If the patch is applied only to the navel area, you need to change it every 2-3 days yourself.

Surgical intervention

If the formation increases in size over a couple of years, provokes intestinal obstruction and carries the risk of strangulation symptoms, the question arises of removing the umbilical hernia. During this procedure, doctors reduce the prolapse and sutured the umbilical ring. A small incision is hidden in a fold of skin. The procedure lasts half an hour, the recovery process takes a couple of weeks.

Traditional treatment

If your baby has been diagnosed with a hernia, you need to provide him with proper care at home.

  • Before feeding, the baby is placed on his stomach for a short period of time on a hard and flat surface covered with a clean diaper. You can post it after the umbilical wound has completely healed.
  • It is necessary to massage regularly. On this issue, it is better to consult with your doctor: he will explain what and how to do correctly, and perhaps recommend a suitable specialist. In general, tummy massage is performed as follows. It is carried out from the second week, when the umbilical wound has completely healed. The massage is performed with soft clockwise movements, synchronous counter stroking (with the right hand on the left side down, with the left hand on the right side up), stroking the oblique muscles (one hand is on the navel area, the other performs stroking movements). It is important that the child is comfortable during the massage and does not cry.
  • Physiotherapy. Physical therapy, like massage, is carried out by a massage therapist or exercise therapy specialist. Parents can study with a professional to understand how to treat themselves at home, or take their baby for treatments regularly.

Laying on the tummy, massage and physical therapy are traditional treatments for hernia. Also, modern medicine offers special therapeutic plasters that hold the hernia inside the ring and help the abdominal walls to strengthen. The product is convenient and good, but can cause irritation on the baby’s delicate skin. An alternative option without irritation is to use a special bandage. It is recommended to use such products after consultation with a pediatrician.

If the disease disappears within 6 months with this treatment, then everything is normal. If the hernia does not go away after this time, surgery may be required.

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Folk remedies

Most doctors reassure parents that surgery is performed in extreme cases. The formation can straighten itself if the causes of excess pressure on the abdominal organs are eliminated. Traditional medicine methods help with this:

  • spells are a popular remedy, effective because the correct “grandmothers” calm the baby, he does not cry or tense for no reason, which helps eliminate the defect;
  • compress from knotweed decoction - take a tablespoon of dry herb, pour a glass of boiling water, leave for 10 minutes;
  • sealing with an adhesive plaster with a copper coin appliqué;
  • nightly compresses of cold vinegar or sauerkraut juice; the baby needs to be treated for a month.
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