Linea Nigra – What To Know About Your Pregnancy Line

Linea Nigra – What To Know About Your Pregnancy Line

14 Jun 2022 | 3 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 348 Articles

Have you noticed a line on your stomach during pregnancy? This vertical line on your belly is known as the linea nigra. 

When you’re pregnant, your body goes through a host of changes. This is especially true of the skin on your belly as it stretches to accommodate the growing baby. Linea nigra is one of the common pregnancy skin conditions. A pregnancy trademark that commonly shows up on the tummy of the mum-to-be!

Linea nigra is a Latin term which means “black line”. It is caused by hyperpigmentation that often occurs during pregnancy and is normal. It will slowly fade on its own after your delivery when your hormones return to normal. 

Here’s everything you need to know about linea nigra.

Your pregnancy line gets darker as your pregnancy progresses. | Image Source: pexels

When Does The Linea Nigra Appear?

Linea nigra is already present on a woman’s belly but remains invisible until a woman conceives and the line darkens. Although linea nigra is known as the black line, it is more of a browner shade.

In some women, this line might start from ribs too. It can become prominent to appear as early as the pregnancy is detected and gets darker as the pregnancy progresses.

What Causes Linea Nigra?

Research suggests that linea nigra is probably caused by hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy. Thanks to oestrogen and progesterone.

The placenta might release a hormone that stimulates melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin to pigment your skin or give you a suntan. Due to this, you might also notice that your nipples and areolas darken during pregnancy.

Studies have also found that linea nigra is not a way to determine whether a woman is pregnant. Although more common in pregnant women, this line is also seen in a significant percentage of men and non-pregnant women.

Reasons Why It’s Alright to Have Linea Nigra

Some expecting women might be worried about the linea nigra. But there is nothing to worry about, here’s why.

  • It’s natural: The appearance of linea nigra during pregnancy is perfectly normal that indicates that there is more melanin in your body now.

This is not a cause of concern. So, sit back and enjoy this beautiful phase of your life.

  • It’s harmless: The pregnancy line is harmless for your growing baby. Instead of worrying, you can embrace it and feel proud of your ability to nurture and support life.
  • It disappears on its own: You can be assured that the pregnancy line will disappear on its own after a few months of your delivery.
  • You can always cover it up: Although the linea nigra is unavoidable, you can prevent it from darkening further. If possible, avoid going out in the sun and even if you do, apply sunscreen.
If you step outdoors, try to wear full length clothing so that you can cover your tummy well and prevent your pregnancy line from getting darker. | Image Source: pexels 

There is nothing that can treat the pregnancy line. But, you can try to minimise its appearance. It is better to avoid using any topical creams or medication as it might irritate the skin. 

Folic acid from foods such as leafy green vegetables, oranges, and whole wheat bread might reduce the formation of linea nigra.

The good news is that the pregnancy line just appears during the course of pregnancy and will go away on its own. You can consult your doctor if the line hasn’t faded within three months of giving birth.

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