Pregnancy brings on a lot of changes to your body, and while some might be expected, like your growing belly, others are less so, like hairs sprouting out of your chin or other unusual places, and of course, Linea Nigra.
During your pregnancy, you might notice a dark line, running from your pubic bone up to your belly, sometimes up to your ribs. This is commonly referred to as the pregnancy line, and you’ll be relieved to hear that it has always been there, just not as noticeable.
Although not harmful at all, the Linea Nigra or “black line” can be alarming if you don’t know what it is or what causes it. The line is actually always there, even before pregnancy, but it’s called the Linea Alba or white line.
The Linea Nigra may appear around the second trimester, although it can happen earlier. It’s usually ½ to 1 cm wide, and it can get darker as you get further along, but it never goes black, as the name suggests.
Unfortunately, no. Like pregnancy cravings and water retention, it’s just one of those things, and chances are it will go away after your baby arrives. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent it getting darker:
As much as you might want to show off your beautiful bump, it’s recommended to wear sunblock and stay out of the sun during pregnancy.
Exposure to the sun can cause the line to darken, even after you’ve given birth.
Research suggests that insufficient amounts of folic acid could be a cause for the Linea Nigra although this isn’t conclusive. Anyhow, your GP or gynecologist will advise you increase your folic acid or folate intake to prevent any possible defects like spina bifida.
You can use makeup to cover the line but make sure you use a product with ingredients that are gentle and not harmful in any way to you or your baby.
Makeup is a wonderful thing and even though it won’t get rid of the line, you can conceal it. Use a foundation on the line if you’re self-conscious, but be sure not to put too much on; that might draw even more attention.
Should you feel particularly conscious about your pregnancy line, you can try a few natural remedies that might work in getting rid of it or lightening it:
Pure cocoa butter (affiliate link) or a cocoa butter lotion is available from health stores as well as online. Simply dab it on your Linea Nigra every day, and you should see results over time. The cocoa butter can also reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Using vitamin E oil (affiliate link) can also lighten your Linea Nigra and assist with those pesky stretch marks. Vitamin E oil can be used by most pregnant women whereas a vitamin E supplement will need to get the go-ahead from your doctor. This will help your skin in all sorts of ways during your pregnancy.
Lemon juice is a natural lightening agent and could reduce the line. Rubbing alcohol can assist too, but some people might suffer from skin irritation with this so do an allergy test first.
If you think your Linea Nigra is darker than it should be, it could be due to an insufficient amount of folic acid. As well as taking a supplement, you should also eat healthily. Make sure you (and baby) are getting loads of green vegetables, cereals, whole grains and oranges.
Your Linea Nigra is a part of your pregnancy journey. Like all the other changes your body undergoes, it’s a sign that a baby is on the way, and that in itself is a blessing.
If you’re one of the thousands of women who have had challenges falling pregnant, the Linea Nigra is a gentle (harmless) reminder of what you’ve been through. Think of it as "war paint," or if it stays behind, a loving reminder of your pregnancy.
If it is something you can’t get used to, rest assured it will go away after the birth of your baby, and chances are you’ll probably miss it when it’s gone.
Among the old wives tales, the length of the line can predict the gender of your baby. Apparently if the lines goes past your navel and reaches your rib cage, you’re having a baby boy. If the line stops at the belly button, you’re going to be a mom to a baby girl.
Of course there is no scientific evidence supporting this, but it is fun to know 🙂
How about you? Have you seen your Linea Nigra yet? If you want to share any tips to prevent it darkening, it would be my pleasure to hear from you.
Amy Duncan is the founder of KindMommy, a blog where she's providing helpful information about pregnancy and many useful tips for young parents. Besides writing, Amy loves to cook and travel with her friends and family. You can also find Amy on Twitter (@AmyKindmommy).