If you are living with an umbilical hernia, you probably don't fully realize how much of your body's pain is caused by this one abdominal hole.

At least, I didn't.

It wasn't until after my hernia repair that I realized all my hip and low back pain were due to my belly button bulge.

However, immediately after my surgery, I had a whole different list of aches + pains.

Then, after a few weeks, I had an entirely new list of issues.

Below, you'll find all the information you need to help you relieve pain—no matter where you are in the umbilical hernia repair process.

You Think You Might Have an Umbilical Hernia

After having my second child, I was certain I had an umbilical hernia, but I had no idea it was the cause of the aches + pains I was feeling in my low back and pelvis.

It wasn't until I had researched and tried what felt like all possible exercises to help me become pain-free that I realized all the muscle strengthening in the world wouldn't help me feel better if I still had this hole in my abdominal wall.

Although my umbilical hernia was very large and obvious, that isn't always the case.

In case you're not sure about whether you have an umbilical hernia, check out this quick list of umbilical hernia symptoms in adults.

To see how to check yourself for an umbilical hernia, watch the video below.

You're Thinking of Having Your Umbilical Hernia Repaired

Unfortunately, an umbilical hernia will not repair itself with time and helpful exercises. If you are ever going to be 100% free of the aches + pains caused by your hernia, it will have to be surgically repaired.

This is a tough decision for many people. For some, the pain from their umbilical hernia might be small enough that it may not be worth the risk involved with abdominal surgery.

Others may want to have surgery but might want to avoid mesh.

If you're currently on the fence about having umbilical hernia repair surgery, the following three articles might help you:

After Your Umbilical Hernia Surgery

Once you have healed from your umbilical hernia surgery, you will probably notice a whole new list of aches + pains. This is because your supportive core muscles are currently weak.

By strengthening your core, you greatly reduce any sort of future back or hip pain. Here are the top five exercises to help you rebuild your core strength.

5 Exercises to Help You Rebuild Your Core Strength

  1. Breathing. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, let yourself fully deflate. Make sure every last ounce of air is exhaled. Then, lightly activate your deepest abdominal muscles to create a hugging feeling in the abdominal space between your ribs and hips.
  2. a picture of the low back with the pelvis is tilting in to imprintImprint. Begin on your back with your feet on the floor, about fist-width apart. Make sure your pelvis is in neutral and your low back is naturally curved away from the floor. Inhale into the sides of your rib cage. Then, exhale and use your abdominal muscles to help you reach your low back toward the floor. Inhale and use your low back muscles to help you return to neutral. Complete several rounds of this exercise.
  3. Leg slides. Begin on your back with your feet on the floor, about fist-width apart. Make sure your pelvis is in neutral and your low back is naturally curved away from the floor. Flex your right foot, inhale, and slide your right leg out straight. Keep reaching through the sole of your foot as your leg slides and you continue to inhale. Once your leg is straight, exhale and start bending your knee to return to starting position. Complete 10 Leg slides on the right side before you switch over to the left side.
  4. Pelvic dips. Begin on your back with your feet on the floor, about fist-width apart. Make sure your pelvis is in neutral and your low back is naturally curved away from the floor. Inhale and allow your right hip to lower straight toward the floor as your left hip lifts. Exhale to come back to center. Inhale and allow your left hip to lower straight toward the floor as your right hip lifts. Exhale and come back to center. Do several for each side.
  5. Sunbird, swimming prepSunbird. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Press the ground away. Hug your belly button toward your spine. Slide your right leg straight behind you. Lift your foot off the ground. Slide your left hand straight in front of you. Lift it off the ground. Breathe. Hold and balance. When you are finished, lower your hand and foot. Return to your starting position. Switch sides. Complete several balances for each side.

After your umbilical hernia surgery, you may have a pooch. Watch the following video to learn whether it will go away.

Watch this video to learn how long it will take until you feel normal after your repair.

When you become a member of the Custom Pilates and Yoga community, you’ll learn what you need to know before your umbilical hernia surgery and simple, strengthening exercises to help you fully recover after surgery.

Call Your Doctor When...

As soon as you notice you have an umbilical hernia, you should contact your doctor and have it examined. Your doctor will be able to give you more information about your particular situation and discuss your options (including doing nothing), so you can have all the information you need to make a wise decision about how to proceed.

If you have already had your hernia repaired surgically, you should call your doctor immediately if the area around your belly button starts to become:

  • red,
  • swollen,
  • smelly,
  • hot to the touch, and/or
  • painful.

You should also contact your doctor if you notice any discolored drainage.

It's okay to want to try to relieve your pain yourself, but it's also okay to get your doctor's help.