Hernia While Pregnant

47 Replies
Renee - May 24

I have a umbilical hernia and I am 34 years old, first pregnancy, 23 weeks along. Anyone else have this problem? I go to the doctors this thursday.


bump` - May 25



michelle - May 25

I have an umbilical hernia. It developed during my last pregnancy. I don't know very much about it. It was painful during my last pregnancy but hasn't really bothered me much yet with this one. My ob/gyn says I need surgery to correct it.


Brachah - June 8

I am 35 (soon to be 36) with two children ages 14 and 10. I have had six major abdominal surgeries (includes two c-sections and tube/ovary removal after ectopic). Anyway, last August my abdominal wall ripped open seven inches (it is called an incisional hernia) and I had to go in and have it repaired with plastic mesh. Now I am 16/17 weeks and went to the doctor today because of severe pain ... I thought it was due to uterus stretching (and plastic mesh doesn't stretch) ... and was told my incisional hernia has reoccurred ... my abdominal wall is slowly unzipping with my growing baby. I am having to see the surgeon who originally performed the repair and a high-risk specialist next week. I am angry, scared and in lots of pain.


Tash - June 13

I also have an insisonal hernia that is very painful! Righ now I am 24 weeks along. I have had 3 previous c sections and one hernia repair with no mesh. My surgeon said there was nothing they could do until I have the baby and to limit activity and lifting. With 3 children this is not easy so I have no idea how I am going to cope for the next 4 months. He also said the pain will just get worse over the pregnancy.


Brachah - June 15

Tash: i see the surgeon today ... i am very nervous. Are you serious about there is nothing they can do?!? Will they at least "take" the baby early? Isn't this dangerous for OUR health? What happens if the abdominal wall keeps ripping open? I'm not a know-it-all, but it seems tome that this is not good. I am scared, actually.


Tash - June 15

Brachah, let me know what your surgeon says today PLEASE! The first surgeon wouldn't even see me as he said to my dr over the phone there was nothing he could do unless the bowel became entrapped. The one I saw said it would get worse and would rip more throughout the pregnancy. I will be having a c section agian and they will repair the hernia at the same time. I can't even imagine it getting more painful.... He also said everytime it rips it will be painful for about 8-10 days then feel a bit better until the next rip. They are going to do an amnio early and see if they can take the baby 10-14 days early. Let me know how your apt goes and if you get any other advice. Oh, also about OUR health the surgeon said unless it becomes entrapped which is an emergency, it is painful but not dangerous, It is hard to imagine living like this for 3.5 months! Good luck today.


Brachah - June 16

Tash: Needless to say, I am upset. My opinion right now is that surgeons seem to think they are God ... they seem to think they know everything. I waited 45+ minutes to see him and was in and out of there within 8 minutes of being called back to a little room and waiting a few more minutes for him to enter. When he first walked in and said, "so you think you have a hernia, huh?" I said, "My doctor and I both think I do." And then he said, "And where is it you think you have one?" so I said,"Exactly where you supposedly fixed it." Then he acted like it was the most normal thing in the world and that my OB and I are making a big deal out of nothing. And yes, all he told me was to expect the pain & discomfort to get worse ("there is nothing we can do about it now, is there?" - jerk) but that the baby will be just fine ... my OB said to be extra careful about lifting and straining so when I asked the surgeon about going up and down three flights of stairs everyday with a heavy backpack of books (I'm a aging college student - ha) he rolled his eyes and told me it wouldn't kill me ... in fact, I could prob use the exercise (at this point I told him I thought he was mean - and he laughed at me.) BTW, remember this is the SAME doctor who "repaired" my abdominal rip just last August with the plastic mesh screen ... and he told us then that IF i were to get preggo my tummy would be stronger than a sixteen year old ... and yesterday he said to me, "I wish I had known you were wanting to get pregnant ... I can't understand what went wrong." There is that God-syndrome again. Anyway, he also acted like incarcerated or strangulated bowels were no big thing either ... made me feel like all my concerns were unwarranted and foolish ... and he said that he will have to be there when they deliver via c-section and then he'll do another "repair" (which my OB says will pose an additional concern because of the loss of blood) and once again he acted like it was no big deal ... the only thing he seemed concerned about was how it was going to interfere with HIS schedule. Am I wrong for thinking I don't want this guy to fix his mistake? Am I wrong for thinking I'd like someone else in there fixing my abdomen? No offense, but some doctors are callous and unsympathetic to patients fears, needs, and pain. Many of the att_tude of "oh, well ... deal with it ... you wimp. I don't give a c___p if it hurts or not. You're an idiot and I have a speedboat payment due next week. What kind of insurance did you say you have?"


Brachah - June 16

Oh, and get this: Originally when my OB discovered the initial rip and he sent me to this surgeon, he specifically asked the surgoen to let him know when he'd do the repair because he wanted to be there (to watch) and the surgoen never called him. And THEN when I first found out I was preggo, my OB called the surgeon and asked for my surgery records so he'd at least know where the mesh was located, etc ... and the surgeon never responded. My OB asked two more times for my records with no response. Now that my incision is re-ripping, and I was sent back to this surgeon, he is the one acting "put out" or "inconvenienced."


Brachah - June 16

I'm sorry ... one more thing ... as far as help with the pain and avoiding discomfort and possible intestine incarceration: we will need to be extra careful in what we eat that can cause constipation (avoid excess cheeses etc) and also things that are harder to digest (like meats.) Not to say that we can't eat these things at all but to be careful in eating a lot ... and we'll need to eat easily digestible foods and lots of veggies/fruits ... mild stool softeners but NO laxatives ... the main thing is to NOT get constipated (which on top of straining it is also dangerous in our situation and can cause the obstruction) ... warm baths and tylenol ... and lots of rest. That is what we have to look forward to for the rest of our pregnancy. And yes, they'll probably take our babies "early" ... one to two weeks early ... big whoop-ty-doo ... I'm thinking at 34-36 weeks our babies will be just fine ... and I'm going to ask about it, too. IF YOU LEARN ANYTHING ELSE LET ME KNOW ... AND KEEP ME INFORMED ON HOW YOU'RE DOING PLEASE.


Tash - June 16

Brachah: Wow, it souunds like we had the same guy! When my Dr first called the hospital the Dr on call is the one who messed up my second c-section that needed FIVE surgeries to correct it - one of which was for the hernia as the scar had been opened so many times. He refused to see me and told me to stay on bed rest until the end. The surgeon who did see me said limit activity... I am in SO much pain today I can't stand it. They gave me Tylenol #3 but they don't help and as you said they can be VERY constipating. Does your pain come and go? When it hits I double over or it can feel like a weight is pulling at the scar. How many weeks are you now? How do you possibly sit at school and concentrate in this pain? I am thinking of you.... This is going to be a long summer. Hopefully your children can help out a bit but it is hard for them to understand. I find a hot water bottle helps but the dr said no electrical heating pads. If you discover any tricks let me know. I'm not sure if I would have your Dr repair the hernia again, I would never let the same guy I saw do another operation, the surgery was not done well AND he has a god like att_tude - no thanks! It is suppose to be a happy time!!!


Brachah - June 16

You are right about pain meds being constipating and to avoid the electric heating pads, too. That's why i find comfort in warm baths and you find comfort in hot water bottles. I think I'll get me one. My incision has been opened/closed six times, too ... no wonder we're ripping apart! It's like two pieces of frayed cloth in there ... what they need to do is cut away the damaged material and sew back two pieces that are sturdy/solid tissue ... forget this so-called mesh method because if it's frayed in there it will still pull apart. I think we need to get new tummies out of this, what do you think? No more babies for me ... I say while you have it wide open in there go ahead and scoop out that uterus too ... haha. But you know they won't do it ... to much ha__sle and blood loss. We are already in a complicated situation with this back-to-back surgery of delivery and repair. I just cannot beleive there is NOTHING they can do for us ... and as far as concentrating at school, oh honey. I've missed so many days I am surprised I haven't been dropped. But my prof seems more than willing to work with me, and I think that I am going to take a break and drop the rest of the summer and fall, too. I need to put all of what energy I do have into this pregnancy. And I need to rest without feeling guilty of missing cla__ses, etc ... I am 18 weeks ... offically due Nov 21 but was told they'd deliver early November ... I want to deliver in mid/late October ... i have faith the baby will be just fine delivered early. He may be a tad underweight, but his lungs will be formed and he'll be out of serious danger at that point. When are you due? How old are you? Any other kiddos? Where do you live? I'm a Texas gal.


Tash - June 16

Texas, wow we are far apart. I live on in Victoria British Columbia. I have a 6.5 year old boy, a 4.5 year old boy and a 15 month old girl. This last pregnancy was the first unplanned, I was on the pill and b___stfeeding! I am due oct 3rd but hope to have the baby as far before that as possible. My Dr said they can do an amnio to check the babies lungs to make sure it is okay. Do you know the s_x of your baby? We dicided not to find out. Are your other two girls or boys? I agree about taking it easier, the pregnancy will get so much worse for us if we don't take it easy now! I am almost 33, when I was 25 pregnancy was definatley easier on my body lol... Have to run, the little one is up!


michelle - June 16

Brachah and Tash - have either one of you tried a maternity corset or girdle? Or a support called the Belly Bra? I have an umbilical hernia and it does help with the pain. I don't have much in the way of muscle left above my navel


tash - June 16

Hi Michelle, I have one and it helps for awhile then it seems to hurt. Does the umbilical hernia hurt???? How many weeks are you?


Brachah - June 16

Tash: We decided not to find out, too ... but I don't know if I can be good about it :) We have a 14 and a 10 year old ... both girls. So, naturally, we'd love a little boy. I'm already calling it a he/him ... but you know I'll be blessed no matter what we have.


Michelle - June 16

No, I don't have one of those girdle thingies, but I've been wondering about it. No doctor has mentioned one yet ... I bet it would at least help with the coughing and bending over.



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