1 Jun 2023 | 4 min Read
Author | 1053 Articles
Umbilical complications during pregnancy and birth can lead to health issues for both the mother and the baby. It is not just limited to after birth but can also occur when the baby is in the mother’s womb.
Listed below are common umbilical complications, their causes, symptoms, and available treatment options.
Umbilical cord prolapse is a serious complication that occurs when the umbilical cord slips through the cervix before the baby during labour. This can lead to compression or occlusion of the cord, restricting the baby’s oxygen and blood supply.
Common causes include:
Symptoms may include:
Immediate medical attention is crucial, and treatment may involve:
Umbilical cord infections, also known as omphalitis affect about 0.7% of babies.
It occurs when:
Symptoms for umbilical cord infections may include:
Umbilical granulomas are small, reddish, moist masses that develop on the umbilical stump after the cord falls off.
They result from an incomplete healing process.
Although they are generally harmless, persistent granulomas may require treatment. Different approaches may be used to remove the granuloma and promote healing, such as:
Umbilical hernias are characterised by a protrusion of abdominal contents through the belly button. They commonly occur in infants and may resolve spontaneously within the first few years of life. Risk factors include premature birth, low birth weight, and family history.
Umbilical hernias in infants develop when a small opening forms in the abdominal muscles when the fetus develops in the womb. This opening allows the umbilical cord to pass through. If the opening does not close completely around the time of birth, or after the birth, the fatty tissue or part of the bowel can poke through, causing an umbilical hernia.
An umbilical hernia looks like a lump in the navel which becomes more visible when the infant is:
However, the lump may go away or shrink when the infant is lying relaxed or lying down.
Umbilical complications can sometimes pose significant risks to both newborns and their mothers. Recognising the signs and seeking prompt medical attention is essential for early diagnosis and effective treatment.
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