Why Do Some Women’s Belly Buttons Pop Out During Pregnancy?

The short answer from an Ob/Gyn

Pregnant woman relaxing in window seat while looking at phone

Q: Why do some women’s belly buttons pop out during pregnancy?

A: It doesn’t happen to all pregnant women. But sometimes a growing baby in the uterus can put so much pressure on a woman’s abdominal wall that her normally “innie” belly button becomes an “outie.” It typically happens in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, most commonly around 26 weeks.

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If it happens to you, don’t worry. It in no way indicates a problem. And your belly button will probably return to normal after your pregnancy.

It’s usually painless — other than when the extended belly button rubs on clothing. If your belly button becomes irritated from rubbing on your shirt or waistband, try covering it with a bandage or wearing a loose dress instead of pants. 

There’s no rhyme or reason to who gets a popped-out belly button. Every woman’s body — and every pregnancy — is different.

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Just don’t confuse this common condition with an umbilical hernia. If your popped-out belly button is painful or there seems to be a bulging mass alongside your belly button, see your doctor.

— Ob/Gyn Karmon James, MD

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