Umbilical Hernia Child



A hernia is caused by a weakness in the belly wall. The muscles of the baby’s belly do not close tightly around the belly button. This causes soft tissue to poke out through the opening.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in Black babies. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Being born too early
  • Low birth weight



This problem does not often cause symptoms. A bulge may be seen around the belly button. This may happen when the baby cries, coughs, or passes stool.


The doctor will ask about the baby's symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will make the diagnosis based on the exam.



Most hernias will close on their own within the first 5 years of life.

Sometimes a hernia does not close. Surgery will be done to put the tissue back into place. Surgery may also be needed for hernias that are causing problems, such as blocking the intestine or blood flow. These will need surgery right away.


There are no current guidelines to prevent an umbilical hernia.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.