What is linea nigra- your pregnancy belly line

 

Pregnancy Belly Line Linea Nigra

As I sit here pregnant for my fourth time, I often get asked by my children about this crazy black line that runs down my belly and even past my belly button. I told them that this dark line is called linea nigra and they looked at me like I had 3 heads!

As strange as this may seem, through all four pregnancies, I’ve had the line but it seems to appear darker with each pregnancy. So many questions my children had that provoked me to find some answers about this pregnant belly line, also known as linea nigra

I’ve also asked my friends about this dark vertical line and most of them have never had it! I thought this was a normal thing that all pregnant women got!

I’ve had so many questions about this line over the years that I had to find out more about it! 

So, if you are also pregnant or know a pregnant woman and they have the same questions about the linea nigra belly line during pregnancy, then keep reading! 

 

What is linea nigra?

Linea Nigra which means “black line” in Latin, is a linear midline band of macular hyperpigmentation. Linea nigra runs from the pubic bone vertically all the way up to the chest. This hyperpigmentation is most common during pregnancy due to the increase in pregnancy hormones. Both estrogen levels and melanin production increase.

Everyone has a faint line or band called a linea alba that runs down the midline of the pubic area. It is normally too fair to see and often a white line. However, when a woman becomes pregnant, her skin changes and this line can get darker due to the increase in hormone levels and melanin production. Linea nigra is a normal part of pregnancy. 

In 90% of pregnant women, some type of hyperpigmentation is seen. Normally, the first sign of any hyperpigmentation is the darkening around the nipples which can take place in the first trimester. 

One thing I found interesting was then linea nigra is most commonly found on women of dark skin types. Women with fair skin, like my mother who did not have this line, develop hyperpigmentation less often than darker-skinned women. 

My mother is of Polish descent and very pale and had no signs of linea nigra. However, I’ve had it with all 4 of my babies and have more of my father’s Italian skin tone which is much darker than my mom’s. 

 

When does linea nigra appear?

Research shows that linea nigra does not appear on a mother’s stomach until the second trimester of pregnancy or even the third trimester. It can appear as a faint line at first and then gradually become darker as your third trimester moves on. The length of the linea nigra defers for each woman.

Oddly enough, I didn’t think I would even get the line on my baby bump during my fourth pregnancy since it developed later than it did with my other pregnancies.

However, it eventually appeared at the end of my fifth month of pregnancy and it actually looked much darker than it did with my other pregnancies! So, this was surprising to me! 

 

Struggling in your third trimester? Find out what helped me survive through my third trimester with all four pregnancies! 

Third trimester essentials

 

When does linea nigra go away?

Linea Nigra

Yes, the good news is that I am proof that linea nigra will disappear

It may take a few months to completely go away. During my last pregnancy, it took about 4-5 months to disappear. At the very end when it was almost gone but very faint, I exfoliated it with a great lemon sugar scrub and it cleaned off any dead skin and cleared most of it up! The citric acid in the lemon juice will help lighten up the line! 

This is the one I used below:

 

Here is another great lemon brightening scrub that also works amazing! 


Get yourself a good exfoliating scrubber or sponge to apply the lemon scrub and scrub away! 


 

 

I have heard that applying Apple Cider Vinegar may help it fade but I’ve never tried this before. ACV is all-natural so it won’t hurt you in any way and if you’re really self-conscious about it, then dab a few cotton balls of ACV and see if it helps! 


 

Another good idea is that you can also add some cocoa butter or vitamin E oil to your line after scrubbing it with lemon sugar. The vitamin E or cocoa butter will help keep the line moist and lighten it as well. Even olive oil will work if you don’t have vitamin e oil handy. This will also help reduce any stretch marks you may have during your pregnancy as well. 


 

 

 

Can I Prevent Linea Nigra?

Here is an interesting fun fact, studies show that folate can help prevent hyperpigmentation such as linea nigra. Therefore, eat lots of leafy greens and make sure you take good prenatal vitamins like this one that has folate in it instead of folic acid. There are so many prenatal vitamins on the market today, so be sure to do your research.


 

Best thing to do is to wear sunscreen! Sun Exposure causes us to tan and have darker skin which can also cause more hyperpigmentation making our linea nigra even darker.

Therefore, no matter your skin color, grab a great sunscreen that’s safe for mama and baby like this one


 

Is Linea Nigra gender-related?

I can tell you right now that it isn’t related to the baby’s sex! I’ve had four pregnancies, 3 girls and one boy, and had this line with all four of them. 

However, with this fourth pregnancy with my son, my pregnancy line took quite a while to appear which made me believe that I wasn’t going to get it at all! As I mentioned above, once my last trimester hit, it appeared fast and strong. It is very dark now just like it was during my third pregnancy. 

So I can confirm that the linea nigra old wives’ tale gender myth is not true! I had it with both genders!

 

Linea Nigra is just another reminder of our pregnancy journey and what we mothers go through! There is nothing bad about it and it will eventually fade, it just may take longer to disappear depending on how dark your line was. Enjoy this dark pregnancy belly line if you have it, take photos of it to show your baby when he or she is older, and embrace it! Because like everything else, this time of your life will pass all too quickly! 

I hope this information on linea nigra helped answer some questions you had! Always talk to your health care provider if you have any more questions or concerns.

 

 

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Are you worried about stretch marks during pregnancy and how you can prevent them? I was able to prevent stretch marks through all 4 pregnancies! Learn the secrets my friends taught me and click here or the photo below! How to prevent stretch marks

 

Are you having a scheduled c-section? Find out what to pack for your c-section so you can be prepared for anything! 

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Want to use a self-tanner that’s pregnancy safe and looks great? Click here for the best self-tanners to use during pregnancy!

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Pregnancy belly line Linea Nigra

Dark Pregnancy Belly Line Linea Nigra