What causes a hernia?
A hernia can develop in the first few months after the baby is born because of a weakness in the muscles of the abdomen.
What is an umbilical hernia?
When the fetus is growing and developing during pregnancy, there is a small opening in the abdominal muscles so that the umbilical cord can pass through, connecting the mother to the baby. After birth, the opening in the abdominal muscles closes as the baby matures. Sometimes, these muscles do not meet and grow together completely, and there is still a small opening present. A loop of intestine can move into the opening between abdominal muscles and cause a hernia.
To request an appointment with a physician at St. Louis Children's Hospital, call 314.454.5437 or 800.678.5437 or email us. For additional resources about umbilical hernia, contact our Center for Families Resource Library.