|When my baby cries a strange lump appears at the bottom of
his tummy next to his leg. I haven’t been to the doctor
because it disappears when he stops crying, so I feel it can’t
be serious. But it is odd, and is bothering me. Should I see
Your baby has a hernia, which is fairly common in newborns.
In this situation, there is a small gap in the abdomen through
which the testes descended. A piece of intestine has worked
its way through this gap and this is the bulge that you
see when the baby cries. In some babies the intestine can
move down into the scrotum, and hernias are also sometimes
seen around the belly button.
Your baby is probably completely unaware of the hernia,
and is not in any pain or discomfort. Nevertheless it is
vital that you take the baby to the doctor. After examination,
your doctor will decide if surgery is required. This is
because there is the slight possibility that the piece of
intestine will get pinched in the gap, causing a blockage
in the intestine. This can be very serious, and can cause
the baby to go into shock, with severe pain and vomiting.
Surgery is very quick and baby should recover easily from
the minor incision. This route of prevention is far preferred
to the risk of the hernia becoming strangulated. If your
baby shows evidence of a hernia, and then suddenly begins
to cry with pain and vomit, you should call the doctor immediately.
Keeping the baby’s bottom raised, with an ice pack
on the inflamed area, may help to relieve symptoms until
you reach the hospital, or the doctor arrives. Never try
to push the hernia back into the abdomen.