Postpartum hernias

Television host, Christine Lampard, has recently opened up about her experience with postpartum hernias. In an interview on Lorraine, the star revealed she had been diagnosed with a hernia just a few weeks after she had given birth. It wasn’t until her six-week check-up that she discovered she had the hernia.

Now, Christine is hoping to raise awareness of the condition and break a post-pregnancy stigma. So, what are postpartum hernias and what signs should you watch out for? Read on to discover everything you need to know…

What is a postpartum hernia?

Postpartum hernias present as a small lump under the skin. They occur due to the additional pressure placed upon the abdominal wall. As the muscles of the abdomen stretch during pregnancy, it can cause some areas of the abdominal wall to weaken. As a result, the bowels or fat may end up pushing through the wall, causing a hernia to develop.

Although they are not overly common after pregnancy, they can still occur. There are different types of hernias you can develop postpartum, with the most common including ventral, inguinal, and umbilical hernias.

Postpartum hernia symptoms to watch out for

As Christine revealed in her interview, you may not even realise you have a postpartum hernia. Not all present obvious symptoms, but the main ones to watch out for include:

  • A small bulge or lump situated above the belly button
  • Pain or tenderness in the area
  • A bumpy feeling around your C-section scar

You may also notice that the lump worsens after exercising, standing up suddenly, or laughing too hard. The symptoms will vary in severity between patients.

In some cases, the hernia may need to be examined immediately. Severe hernias tend to produce these additional symptoms:

  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden or severe pain
  • Changes in the skin surrounding the hernia
  • The bulge or lump is getting larger

If you do spot the symptoms above, you should seek medical advice as soon as you can. Most of the time however, postpartum hernias are mild and easily treatable provided they are caught early.

Postpartum hernia treatment

Unfortunately, postpartum hernias don’t go away by themselves. This means if you want to eliminate it, you’re going to need to undergo a hernia repair.

A hernia repair is a laparoscopic procedure that uses surgical mesh to strengthen the weakened wall. It is a straightforward procedure, though it does need to be carried out by a skilled surgeon. The surgery has a high success rate and is a great way to prevent serious complications arising further down the line.

You may not need to undergo the hernia repair right away. In some cases, it may be recommended that you wait a while. Ideally, you should undergo the procedure when the body has fully recovered from pregnancy and giving birth.

If you’re concerned you have a postpartum hernia, call 01926 492969 to arrange a consultation with Warwickshire hernia surgeon Mr Michael Stellakis.