Pregnancy Line (Linea Nigra) – Causes & Prevention

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Pregnancy Line - Linea Nigra

When you stand in front of the mirror during the second trimester of your pregnancy, you might notice a dark line running below your navel right into the pubic area. This is called Linea Nigra, otherwise known as the pregnancy line.

What is Linea Nigra?

Linea Nigra as the name suggests is a dark line that appears in the 5th month of your pregnancy. It is actually a pale line, which is almost invisible prior to your pregnancy & could suddenly become visible. It is called Linea Alba (White Line). This line on belly during pregnancy is perfectly normal and harmless.

When Does Linea Nigra Appear?

Linea Nigra is actually the darkened Linea Alba, which was already present on your belly but was not very visible. So, you might feel that it might have appeared during your pregnancy. Linea Nigra is not actually black; it is more of a browner shade. It is a vertical line running on your tummy from your navel to the pubic bone; sometimes it might appear from your ribs too.

What Causes Linea Nigra?

Linea Alba is the place where the connective tissues of your abdomen muscles meet. Initially, it is very pale and unnoticeable. It darkens due to the hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy. The line on your belly appears to darken during the second trimester as oestrogen goes up causing extra melanin to be secreted. This melanin causes darkening of the skin and hence Linea Nigra appears. It gradually darkens as the pregnancy progresses. The dark line on pregnant belly is about ½ -1 centimetre wide. You may also notice that if your skin has dark patches or any existing scars they turn darker because of the increased melanin too.

Reasons to Love Linea Nigra

Some women might be worried about Linea Nigra but there are some reasons to love it.

  1. It’s a natural thing: The appearance of Linea Nigra during pregnancy is perfectly normal. It just indicates that there is more melanin in your body now. You will also notice that the areolas and clitoris darken during this period too. This is not a sign of worry so just sit back and enjoy this beautiful phase. The pregnancy line is a wonderful reminder of the life within you.
  2. Disappears on its own: You can be assured that the pregnancy line will disappear on its own a few months after childbirth. After delivery, your hormones begin to stabilise and so will the melanin, getting you back your original skin colour.
  3. It’s harmless: The pregnancy line is harmless for your baby. It occurs due to a natural phenomenon in your body during pregnancy. There is nothing to worry about and certainly no reason to prevent it from occurring. It is best to avoid any applying any cream to prevent Linea Nigra as it might cause other problems. Instead of worrying you can embrace it and feel proud of your ability to nurture life.
  4. You can cover it up: Although the Linea Nigra is unavoidable there are some ways that it can be minimised. If possible avoid the sun & apply a good sunscreen when you are outdoors. This might prevent it from becoming darker. Some researchers also believe that the Linea Nigra is related to low folic acid levels. Therefore, you can also try consuming a good quantity of folic acid from natural sources such as spinach to lighten it.

Preventing Linea Nigra

What Can You Do About Pregnancy Line?

Linea Nigra cannot be prevented but you can try and minimise its appearance. As mentioned earlier, some simple measures such as avoiding the sun, applying sunscreen & covering your tummy can help reduce melanin production, thereby preventing it from becoming darker. There is no specific Linea Nigra treatment as such and so, it is better to avoid using any topical creams or medications.

How to Prevent Getting Linea Nigra?

There is no specific remedy or way to prevent getting Linea Nigra. Doctors advise mothers not to try any remedies to prevent it as it will only cause harm to the baby. There might be some claims of preventing the pregnancy line but in reality, there is no way one can prevent Linea Nigra from appearing or disappearing.

Does Pregnancy Line Predict the Gender of Your Baby?

There are some myths relating to gender prediction based on the pregnancy line but those should be taken with a pinch of salt. If old stories are to be believed then, it’s a boy if the Linea Nigra runs from the pubic bone to the belly button and stops there. If it continues further up to the rib cage then it’s a girl. Although this is fun to know, always remember that gender prediction is never reliable and there are equal chances of conceiving a boy or a girl. Remember, what matters is a healthy baby.

Does Linea Nigra Affect Your Baby?

Linea Nigra is completely harmless. It is restricted only to external cells and in no way connected to your baby. Your baby is safe in your womb.

Is it Normal Not to Have a Pregnancy Line?

It is perfectly normal not to have a pregnancy line because in some cases if the melanin content is less, the line doesn’t darken.

What Happens to the Pregnancy Line After Delivery?

After you deliver your baby, the body begins to get back to normal, which means that your hormones are all starting to fall into place. The pregnancy line disappears on its own. If it still persists then you might consult a doctor for some creams that might help the line fade away. However, any over-the-counter creams or medicines are strictly prohibited during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Linea Nigra might actually be a little embarrassing for some women but in reality, it is just a dark line present for a few months during pregnancy and naturally disappears after birth. This, in fact, is the least of your concerns as it is perfectly normal and safe.

Also Read: Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

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