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Kelly Kasper, MD

Why Your Belly Button Pops Out During Pregnancy

Is your belly button suddenly now an outie? Learn why the belly button pops out and how to handle any newfound sensitivities.

“The common joke is that your belly button is your turkey timer; it pops out when it’s time to have the baby,” says Kelly Kasper, MD, ob-gyn and associate clinical professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine. But really, your belly button has turned inside out because baby’s getting pretty big.

Here’s how it works: As your baby and belly grow, the muscles of your abdomen stretch. The belly button area (a remnant of your time as a baby!) doesn’t have much muscle over it, so as when your uterus begins to push against it from the inside, it pretty easily gets pushed outward, says Kasper. 

And that can be kind of annoying. Belly buttons tend to be hypersensitive. That makes sense, since in the past, its skin was protected from rubbing up against anything. Now, just rubbing against your shirt could irritate it. If that’s happening to you, wear a bandage over it, to keep it from rubbing against your clothes. Some self-conscious moms-to-be also use a bandage to keep their belly button from showing under tight-fitting clothing.

Miss your old innie? Your belly button should return to normal within a few months of giving birth.

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Photo: Vera Lair
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