You are here

The Cause of "Outie" Belly Buttons

Q  Why do some kids have "outies?"

A. It has nothing to do with how the umbilical cord was cut or clamped, says Daniel McGee, M.D., a pediatrician at DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids. Most outies are nothing more than extra scar tissue. The rest are caused by an umbilical hernia, when the stomach muscles don't fuse together properly after the cord stump falls off, causing abdominal tissues to poke through. Unless an umbilical hernia doesn't heal within a year or so, there's no reason to fix your kid's outie. It's just one more thing that makes him stick out in the crowd.