Though inguinal hernias most often occur in newborns, they may not be noticeable right away. It could take a few weeks or months for them to appear after birth.
While some people associate excessive straining or crying with hernias, it’s important to note that these actions alone cannot cause one to develop. However, they can exacerbate any symptoms that are already present. For instance, if the hernia is putting pressure on the baby’s abdomen, it can become more noticeable when they strain.
The most common symptom of an inguinal hernia is bulging or swelling in the baby’s groin or scrotum. While the inflammation might become more pronounced when they cry, it may appear to get smaller or disappear altogether when they’re calm and relaxed.
If your baby’s physician notices this bulge, they may push on it gently when your baby is lying down. When they do so, it should diminish in size or retreat into their abdomen. In medical terms, this means it is reducible.
If the hernia does not move inward, this could indicate that there’s a loop of the baby’s intestine caught in a weakened part of the abdominal muscle. When this is the case, you may notice the following inguinal hernia symptoms:
- A full, distended abdomen
- Pain or discomfort
- Redness or discoloration