22 weeks

Is My Outtie Permanent?

My belly button is now an outtie! Will it go back in after delivery?

It can be a little freaky when that cute little innie you’ve been sporting your whole life suddenly pops out like a thermometer in a Thanksgiving turkey. Usually this happens in the third trimester (and if it’s your first baby, it may not pop until the end of your pregnancy). Not every mama-to-be who had an innie gets an outtie, and sometimes it’s more like a flat navel. And the good news is, in almost every case it’ll be back to an innie after the baby comes and your belly shrinks back to normal (or close to it). Warning, though: Because of all that stretching, it might be just a little bit bigger than before. In rare occasions, the belly button stays an outtie because of an umbilical hernia; that’s when part of the intestine pokes through an opening in the abdominal muscles. Hernias usually shrink after pregnancy but occasionally may require surgery. (Umbilical hernias are actually most common in infants, just FYI.) If you notice anything weird about your belly button after delivery, tell your doctor.

On a side note: If you’re sporting a navel piercing, you’ll probably need to take it out by early in your second trimester. While belly button rings can be cute, they can get painful as your baby — and tummy — grow. And the later you wait to remove the ring, the harder it will be to take out.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Preventing pregnancy stretch marks?

Will my vagina ever be the same again after delivery? 

Tales From the Scale: The Obsession With Pregnancy Weight Gain

By Michele Hakakha, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California