How Pregnancy Changes Your Belly Button

It may sound silly to devote a whole article to the pregnant belly button — but there are a lot of questions on this topic! So here are the answers to some of the most popular questions about the belly button of a pregnant woman and how to help the pregnant belly button.

belly button changes in pregnancy
Illustration by Emily Roberts, Verywell

The Belly Button Pops Out

Sometimes during pregnancy, your pregnant belly button will stick out. Even if you've been an "innie" all of your life, during pregnancy the expansion of your abdomen can cause you to be an "outie."

There isn't much you can do about this temporary condition, except to cover it with clothing. Some women have taped something over it to create a more flat appearance under their clothing, like a bandage.

If your belly button has popped out, have your practitioner check it out to ensure you don't have a hernia. This sometimes happens during pregnancy or during postpartum. Be sure to have any unusual bulges examined.

Belly Button Goes Flat

Another variation of belly button changes is that your belly button can go flat. Yes, as your stomach expands with the baby, you may notice that your belly button becomes flat and taut against your skin. This is normal and will revert back to your normal belly button once your baby is born. Sometimes this has a flap of skin that lays flat with an indent. This is not a cause for concern.


Itchy skin, particularly around the belly button is fairly common. As the skin stretches it may become irritated and itchy. This is usually temporary and normal. Try to keep it well hydrated with your favorite lotion for some relief. If you don't find relief in normal products, talk to your provider. There may also be a case of something called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP). This usually occurs with a rash as well, not simple itching. Your doctor or midwife can give you more information if you are having severe itching.

Belly Button Pain 

Sometimes pregnant people will have a painful sensation inside their belly button. This can be caused by the stretching of the skin on your abdomen or it can a muscular issue. Always report pain to your doctor or midwife. They may have some suggestions for how to help alleviate the pain, but for most women, it is temporary as the belly stretches past a certain point.

Sharp pain that feels stabbing and does not go away after a minute should be followed up with a phone call to your doctor or midwife for advice.

Belly Button Piercings and Pregnancy

If you have your navel or belly button pierced, you may wonder if you need to remove the belly button ring in pregnancy. If you do need to remove it, when should you do so? Or are there specific rings that work better than others in pregnancy?

Many women have had their navels pierced prior to becoming pregnant. They each make different decisions regarding the belly button ring during pregnancy. Some people choose to remove it at their practitioner's request, even though no medical reason was stated. Ask your practitioner what is right for you. Some people choose to leave it until their bellies get larger and then remove it. A few people have been forced to remove it as it became uncomfortable at the very end of pregnancy as their abdomens were stretched tautly causing a pulling sensation.

As for the type of ring that you use, some people have found that there is an expandable ring that was more comfortable than the standard ring. This is a personal preference.

There are also some pregnant people who have left it in the whole time with no problems whatsoever. This will best be determined by how your belly grows as well as how your piercing is doing. If you do not have irritation or too much stretching, it can be a non-issue. You and your practitioner should have a conversation about it and do what works best for you. There is no one right answer.

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Article Sources

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  1. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Skin Conditions During Pregnancy. June 2014.