You’ve undoubtedly heard about all kinds of things that would happen to your body after you’ve had a baby. Everything from your boobs, to your hips, to those tiger stripes you may have earned on your stomach. Some things will go back to normal, and others may not, but that’s totally OK — every woman is different. But what about your belly button? If you’ve been an “innie” your whole life, and experienced what it was like to be an "outie" during pregnancy, what happens? Does your belly button go back after giving birth?
It seems super weird, but your belly button pops out during pregnancy because your growing uterus pushes against it and applies enough pressure to make it push out, according to Dr. Sherry Ross, OB-GYN and Women’s Health Expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
And sometimes, it may not go back to an innie postpartum.
“The belly button often has battle wounds after each pregnancy," Ross tells Romper in an email interview. "The tissue and muscles around the belly button can become stretched and weakened as a result of pregnancy. An umbilical hernia is the medical term to describe this condition. The intestines below can budge through this weakened area around the belly button, causing pain and discomfort."
Though there are no ways to prevent an innie from becoming an outie during pregnancy, Ross says that whether or not it will happen to you is dependent on a few things. “First, not all belly buttons are created equal — each one is different in size, elasticity, and shape. If you have a lot of belly fat, a growing uterus may not 'push out' a belly button during the second or third trimester,” she adds.
If it does occur, “there are a number of nerve fibers around the belly button that can make this area more sensitive to touch. Even pants or nylons can irritate the belly button during pregnancy, whether it sticks out or not,” Ross explains.
Obviously, bodies change after carrying around an almost 10-pound bowling ball for nine months. They have to, and that' s totally OK and honestly, preferred. If your belly button doesn't go back in, maybe think of your new outie as a wonderful reminder of what you created. And remember, whether you're an innie or an outie, all bellies — and their buttons — are beautiful.