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How to treat umbilical hernia in babies?

Q: My son is 2 months and 10 days old and he has a big navel. He gets a lot of hiccoughs and everytime he has them, the navel swells. If we place our thumb and put some pressure it goes in but once we remove the finger, it comes back immediately. My question is how long does it take for the navel to get to normal shape and size? Is this abnormal, because there seems to be no pain when we touch the navel. Otherwise he is normal and active. Request your advice and hope it is not serious, as we are tensed this being our first child.

A:Your child has an umbilical hernia. This is a very common condition in babies. In this condition, there is a gap in the abdominal wall through which intestines protrude out. When the baby strains or cries, the bulge will be more prominent. There are no problems with this bulge and the child will usually have no symptoms because of it. Fortunately most (85%) of these hernias will close off on their own by about 2 years of age. If the size increases or if there are any symptoms related to the swelling, your child may need a surgical closure of the defect.

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