An inguinal hernia is a type of hernia that sometimes happens in newborns. It is a congenital (from birth) defect and cannot be prevented. It is more likely to happen to boys and premature babies. It occurs when the membrane that separates the abdominal cavity breaks open and allows protrusions. When this happens, your baby’s intestines (or the ovary in a girl) or other organs can drop into the groin cavity and cause pain and pressure.
If this happens, you will notice a small swelling, protrusion, or lump in your baby’s groin area. The lump may grow when they are crying, coughing, or straining. If you suspect a hernia, talk to your doctor right away.
Surgery is required to fix the hernia because when intestines or bowels are allowed to bulge in the groin area for a long time, they can become kinked, obstructed, or trapped. Usually, during the exam to diagnose your child’s hernia, your physician will be able to push the hernia back into the abdominal cavity by putting gentle pressure on the stomach. When your physician is unable to push the hernia back into the abdominal cavity, that means the hernia has advanced to the point where it is caught in the membrane of the abdominal cavity. If this happens, you may notice your baby has a full, round belly. She or he may be fussy, vomiting, feverish, or appear to be in pain. If this occurs, surgery will become more urgent and serious.