Pain In The Belly Button: These Are The Causes

Pain in the belly button can be triggered by many factors. Here you can find out what causes the unpleasant pain and when serious complications can occur.

What You Should Know About The Belly Button

The term belly button refers to the round depression in the middle of your belly. This depression is formed immediately after birth because the umbilical cord grew there during pregnancy.

The umbilical cord is responsible for supplying your baby with vital nutrients during pregnancy. After birth, the so-called umbilical cord is cut. This describes the cutting of the umbilical cord.

What sounds a bit painful is not problematic for you or your baby. The umbilical cord is cut and a 2 to 3 cm long residue remains. This dries out after a few days and falls off by itself.

This wound usually heals quite quickly with appropriate care until the final belly button is visible. The belly button can look completely different – depending on the displacement. In most cases, it is turned inward or outward.

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What Causes Pain In The Belly Button?

A wide variety of causes can be responsible for pain in the area of the belly button. In addition to harmless causes, such as growing pains, there can also be a much greater danger.

Belly button pain is basically understood to be any pain that occurs in the area of the belly button. Often, pain in the belly button occurs in children as a result of growing pains.

However, this pain can also be a cause of psychological stress. In the worse cases, pain in the belly button can indicate an umbilical hernia or appendicitis. Here you will find an overview of the causes:

Growing Pains

Growing pains often occur more frequently in children between the ages of 3 and 5. During this time, they often whine and are restless. Perhaps you have already noticed this in your child. Many children experience growing pains in their legs and abdomen.

The growth spurt causes the belly button to be pulled forward. This causes a painful stretching. Since the belly button is particularly strained after a substantial meal, the pain in the belly button occurs mainly about 20 to 30 minutes after eating. The more your child has eaten, the worse the pain can be.

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Tip: After eating, your child should try to move despite the abdominal pain. This way, the food is better distributed in the stomach and the pain can subside better.

Functional Abdominal Pain

If your child increasingly suffers from severe abdominal pain around the belly button, it may be a so-called umbilical colic. Especially children between the ages of 4 and 12 are affected by the annoying pain around the belly button.

Umbilical colic manifests itself in that, in addition to the upper abdominal pain, symptoms such as pallor, headache or sweating occur.


As you can see, there is nothing serious behind most belly button pain. However, in some cases, the annoying pain can indicate appendicitis. Pain around the belly button is considered the first sign of this.

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. This describes a small part of the appendix. Although the name might make you think that the entire appendix is affected, it is not affected by the inflammation at all.

Appendicitis usually occurs in children and adolescents. In most cases, you can recognize appendicitis by the following symptoms.

The upper abdominal pain slowly spreads to the lower abdomen, where it causes a sharp, uncomfortable pain. The course of appendicitis is difficult to predict and can always be different.

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However, a basic distinction is made between simple and destructive appendicitis. In many people, the disease takes a positive course and does not lead to any complications.

However, this is only the case if appendicitis is recognized and treated in time. If the inflammation has already progressed and was recognized too late, in the worst case it can lead to an appendicitis rupture.

In this case, the inflamed part of the appendix bursts and the contents can thus spread freely in the abdominal cavity. In a few cases, this can even be fatal. The most common cause of appendicitis is constipation or narrowing of the intestinal outlet. Improper diet but also worm infestation can lead to this.

Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia can cause bad pain in the belly button. However, an umbilical hernia is not really a hernia of the navel. In fact, it is much more of a gap in the abdominal wall.

This gap allows tissue to bulge outward from the abdominal cavity. To clarify: A small bump develops under the skin of the belly button. It can vary in size from a cherry to a tennis ball.

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Belly Button Pain During Pregnancy: Should I Be Worried?

It is not uncommon to experience belly button pain and also pain around the belly button during pregnancy. In many cases, it is due to the growing size of the baby. The growth spurts not only strain the abdomen, but also the belly button.

Umbilical hernias can also occur due to the stretching of your pregnancy belly. As long as the pain does not become too severe and does not occur regularly, you do not have to worry. To be sure, you can still contact your doctor.

How Bad Is Belly Button Pain Really?

As you have learned in this article, various causes can lead to pain in the belly button. On the one hand, there can be harmless causes such as growth spurts. On the other hand, an umbilical hernia or appendicitis can also be responsible for the pain.

It is best to observe the pain and its frequency. If in doubt, you should ask your doctor for advice. In the worst case it can be appendicitis. This should be detected as early as possible.


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