Hernia Complications During Pregnancy

A hernia during a pregnancy is a serious health issue. It occurs when part of the intestine bulges out through the abdominal muscle.

Each hernia during pregnancy will create unique complications to the process of giving birth.

Typically, a hernia repair surgery can wait until after the baby is delivered and the mother has had time to recuperate, notes The British Hernia Centre. However, in some circumstances a hernia requires immediate surgery.

Hernia Size Can Increase

The size of a hernia that appears during pregnancy can continue to grow, or the hernia can appear all at once in a noticeable size, notes the Virtual Pediatric Hospital. The hernia will usually be more obvious when standing up than lying down. Stress on the area of the hernia can make it grow larger, reports the British Hernia Centre. Thus, it is important to avoid major physical activity. It is also crucial to support the hernia via wearing support clothing and placing your hands over your belly while making movements that could strain the hernia area.


Pregnant Woman Looking at Her Reflection in a Mirror

Epigastric Hernia Symptoms

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Pain and discomfort in the abdominal and groin area can be due to a hernia, notes the Virtual Pediatric Hospital.

The pain from the hernia can be ongoing or appear inconsistently. Notify a doctor at once if the hernia pain is overwhelming.

Fever & Vomiting

Fever and vomiting can occur due to a hernia during pregnancy, reports the Virtual Pediatric Hospital. Any high fever should immediately be reported to the doctor. Ongoing vomiting should be monitored as it could cause dehydration during a pregnancy.

Heart Races

Pregnant Woman Looking at Her Reflection in a Mirror

Complications After Hernia Surgery

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A hernia during pregnancy can change the rhythm of the heart, reports Virtual Pediatric Hospital.

The heart can start to race due to the hernia. This hernia-related problem requires immediate treatment.

Loss of Blood Flow in the Hernia

The lump in the abdomen caused by the hernia can get a pale appearance. The normal skin tone color will disappear.

This indicates that blood is no longer flowing into the hernia, notes the Virtual Pediatric Hospital. This will be an emergency medical crisis.

Need for Surgery

Surgery, if the doctor says it cannot wait until after the birth, is best done in the second trimester, notes the British Hernia Centre.

It is rare that surgery will be needed during the pregnancy. If so, get a full evaluation and ask questions to ensure that the risks and benefits of the procedure are clear.