Linea nigra is one of the most common signs of pregnancy, represented by a dark vertical line running through the belly. This brownish-looking line is generally around a centimeter wide and runs from the pubis to the umbilicus, while it can also be seen between the pubic area & top of the belly button.
Generally, this vertical streak exists in most pregnant women and is completely visible by around week 23 of pregnancy. It shows that path towards your motherhood, and there are a lot of reasons to love the mark.
What causes linea nigra during pregnancy?
Skin color often tends to change during pregnancy, and it goes on becoming dull every single week. Similar to other changes in the skin, the darkening of it is caused by increasing hormone levels during the second and third trimester periods.
During the process, a brownish-looking dark stream called linea nigra is visible.
There’s another line named ‘linea alba’, which is white and runs down from the belly button in all human beings. Linea nigra, compared to the linea alba, is brown/black and visible only in case of pregnancy.
Linea nigra during pregnancy is caused by an increase in the melanocyte-stimulating hormone, i.e., the increase in the production of melanin is responsible for it. Placenta gets more active during the period, which adds darker pigmentation to women’s body, also leading to the darkening of nipples.
When does linea nigra appear during pregnancy?
Most pregnant women notice a dark line running through their bellies between the first and second trimesters. Moms-to-be expecting twins or triplets will experience darkening of skins a little faster, which might appear during the early period in the first trimester.
However, not all pregnant women experience this hormone-induced darkening of their skin. Researchers have found that it’s common in around 75 percent of women during pregnancy.
When does Linea nigra disappear?
The darker lines in the belly are washed away gradually after the first few weeks of childbirth. If you are breastfeeding your child, it’s normal to last for a few months. Generally, the dark pigment takes around a year to wash away completely.
Are there any risks with linea nigra?
Your baby is at no risk and is completely content inside your bump, even if you see these dark lines around your belly. The only problem associated with linea nigra is that it is more pronounced in women of ethnic groups with darker skin. This is generally caused by hyperpigmentation.
But there’s no need to worry. It fades away slowly after the delivery of your baby.
How to predict if it’s a boy or a girl seeing at the linea nigra?
There are some fun old wives’ tales regarding linea nigra. If the woman has a brownish line running through the belly button, it’s a girl.
And if the dark line runs past the belly button to up near the ribs, you are having a boy. However, no scientific theories or research can support this claim.
How to remove linea nigra during pregnancy?
It’s natural. So, there’s no way you can get rid of the dark line running through your belly completely. However, there are certain measures that you can take to protect your belly skin from darkening.
- Always wear protective clothing. This will also ensure warmth to your baby inside your stomach and keep you away from sunlight.
- Use SPF 15 sunscreen lotion to protect your skin from direct exposure to sunlight.
- Eat nutritious diets rich in Folic acid like orange juice, spinach, wheat, beans, asparagus, etc.
- Apply lemon juice and some alcohol to your skin to lighten up the pigmentation.
There’s nothing that is worrisome about linea nigra during pregnancy. All you need to do is ensure you’re eating well, and the mark will vanish in a few months after giving birth to your child.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.