Known as the pregnancy line, the linea nigra is a long “stripe” of dark skin that run from the belly button to the public bone. For some women, the line extends all the way up to the breast.
Linea nigra tends to be more common in women with darker skin, although women of all skin colors can develop it during their pregnancy.
The term linea nigra is Latin for “black line,” although the line is never truly black. Colors can range from a very light to a deep brown. Instead of covering up and trying to hide your pregnancy line, we’re going to give you four reasons to love your linea nigra.
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Top 4 reasons to love your linea nigra
1. It’s perfectly natural
Linea nigra is perfectly natural, and completely harmless. It’s caused by pregnancy hormone; those same hormones that darkened your areolas. Pregnancy hormones stimulate the skin’s melanocytes cells, which causes your skin to produce more melanin. The increase in melanin is what causes your skin to change colors during pregnancy.
You may have also noticed darker patches of skin on your face, known as the “mask of pregnancy”. These changes are all happening because of the increased levels of pregnancy hormones that are surging through your body.
The appearance of your linea nigra is nothing to be concerned about. It’s natural and will not hurt your baby. The baby is well protected inside of the womb.
2. It will disappear shortly after giving birth
Worried that you’ll keep your mark forever? Don’t be. For most women, this line disappears just a few months after giving birth. As your hormones return to their pre-pregnancy state, you’ll notice the line disappearing. If you get pregnant again in the future, the line will reappear.
Linea nigra not pregnant
If you’re not pregnant, and your pregnancy line is still lingering, you should not be concerned. Some women find that their linea nigra line never truly disappears. Consider it a wonderful reminder of your pregnancy.
3. You can’t prevent it, so embrace it
Unfortunately, you can’t prevent the pregnancy line on stomach, so you might as well embrace it. Remember this is a natural part of your pregnancy, and will not harm your baby.
Most women find that no matter what they do, the pregnancy line appears anyway.
4. You can minimize its appearance
While you can’t prevent you pregnancy line, you may be able to minimize its appearance. Here are some tips:
- Cover up: If you plan on going out in the sun, cover up or wear a safe sunscreen. Sun exposure can intensify the skin-darkening effects of pregnancy, so keep your belly out of the sun and wear sunscreen.
- Get enough folic acid: Some research links pregnancy lines to insufficient amounts of folic acid, but medical experts still aren’t sure if this is true. To be on the safe side, make sure that you’re taking your prenatal vitamins and getting enough folic acid.
Makeup can also be used to cover up your line, but choose a product with gentle ingredients to prevent any adverse reactions.
When does linea nigra appear?
The linea nigra typically starts appearing during the second trimester, although some women will notice this line even earlier. For some women, the appearance of this line is the first noticeable sign of pregnancy. Prior of the darkening of this line, some women notice a white line, also known as linea alba.
The linea nigra old wives tale
Here’s one more reason to love your linea nigra: there’s an old wives tale that claims the length of your pregnancy line indicates the sex of the baby. If the line stops at your belly button, you’re having a girl. If it extends all the way up to the breast, you’re having a boy.
With so many new and wonderful changes going on inside of your body during pregnancy, linea nigra should be the least of your concerns. It’s a normal part of the pregnancy process, and will disappear shortly after giving birth. However, if you’re still concerned about the line, you can take steps to minimize its appearance until after your pregnancy ends. You likely won’t even notice this line until your second trimester, and for some women, the line never appears at all.