When I was 16, I begged my mom – on my hands and knees – for a belly ring. She finally gave in. I took it out when I was 19, re-pierced it when I was 20, and pierced the top of my belly button when I was 21. The double piercing looked sweet, but man – was it painful. The piercing on the top never really healed, constantly got infected, and eventually, I removed it. The bottom came out a few years later.
Beyond two little scars, I thought my belly button ring drama days were long gone. And then I got pregnant…
The official word is that belly rings should be removed sometime during the second trimester (before your stomach gets too big and your button button begins to flatten). James F. Smith, an OB-GYN on Baby Center, says, “As your belly gets bigger along with your baby, the skin of your belly could tighten considerably as it stretches. This sometimes irritates the belly button ring area, even when you wear loose-fitting maternity clothes. It also becomes more difficult as the pregnancy progresses to keep the ring and the skin clean to avoid infection.”
There are flexible belly rings (like this one) that you can wear in lieu of your regular ring to help maintain the piercing and to ensure the hole doesn’t close, but honestly, I would imagine it to be very uncomfortable, considering the way my button looks right now.
My trouble, of course, is not maintaining my piercing hole. It’s long ago closed up. My issue is that the scar tissue within the holes hurts SO much as my belly button flattens and stretches. If the baby is pressed up against the front of my stomach and the button is particularly stretched, it’s nearly unbearable to twist and turn in any direction. Has anyone else experienced this problem and found any remedies?
In the meantime, I’ll just keep wishing that I never pierced the dang thing in the first place!