Among the many things that you will learn about pregnancy is the linea nigra. Also known as the pregnancy line, the linea nigra is a visible line running up from your pubic regions to your belly. So, when does the linea nigra appear? Why is it there, anyways? In this article we will discuss this and tell you what you need to know about this aspect of your pregnancy. If you are ready, let’s get started!
When does the pregnancy line appear on your stomach?
It has actually always been there, although you won’t notice it until your pregnancy has proceeded a bit. How much is a bit? Well, typically the linea nigra appears during your second trimester but sometimes you will see it during the first. How early the linea nigra does appear simply varies from person to person.
Does it signify anything when the black line does appear during your pregnancy?
When you finally do get your linea nigra there is nothing to fear. The same applies for the linea nigra when it does not appear. You see, rather than some sort of mark on your baby’s health the linea nigra is simply one of the many signs that you can generally expect during pregnancy. It doesn’t affect you. It does, however, gradually darken as the pregnancy proceed although, despite the name, it’s not going to turn completely black.
Does the linea nigra go away eventually?
We are happy to report that yes, after your baby is born, the linea nigra will go away on its own. This is not instantaneous, however, and will likely take a few months.
Is there any way to stop it from appearing?
What causes it?
The linea nigra is a completely natural occurrence and as such, there is very little that you can do to hasten or to prevent it. Reducing exposure to the sun can slow down the appearance or contrast in it’s appearance and sometimes prevent it from becoming visible but this is not a guaranteed solution. So what causes it? The appearance of your linea nigra is the by-product of pregnancy hormones. One of their effects is the hyper-pigmentation of your skin (which also affects the areolas of your nipples and also yourr face, darkening them noticeably).. This effect is known as melasma.
Is there anything that can be done to hide or minimize the visible effects?
When you are pregnant and that line does appear going up to your belly there are a few things that you can do to help minimize the effects if it is bothering you. Some examples include the following:
- Foods high in Folic acid – Eating foods that are high in folic acid can help. Sometime the linea nigra will progress more quickly because of a deficiency of folic acid. The best way to combat this is eating foods that are high in folic acid, such as eggs, legumes, beets, leafy greens, and citrus fruits. It’s a delicious strategy and since your baby benefits from those vitamins too, why not jazz up your diet a little?
- Sunscreen – Sunscreen can help if it’s summer and you are going to be exposed to the sun for prolonged periods. Tanning can make your linea nigra more visible rather quickly, so get a sunscreen with an excellent SPF rating and you can go out as normal with no worries.
- Protective clothing barrier – Instead of sunscreen you can also simply employ some protective clothing to keep the sun from darkening the linea nigra prematurely. It’s simple and you don’t have to get anything from the store!
- Lemon juice – Lemon juice is a lightening agent and so soaking a cotton ball in lemon juice and applying it to the linea nigra might be just the thing you need to minimize it’s appearance. Some use rubbing alcohol for the same effect but if you try this be sure to test it first, as it may chafe sensitive skin.
” Vitamin E is good for both your linea nigra as well as stretch marks.”
- Cocoa butter – Who doesn’t love the smell of cocoa butter? Also good for stretch marks, the application of cocoa butter to your pregnancy line should yield some noticeable results within a week or two.
- Vitamin E – Like cocoa butter, Vitamin E is good for both your linea nigra as well as stretch marks. You can use the oil itself with impunity, however, if you are wanting to use a vitamin E supplement then you will want to consult with your doctor first in order to ensure that the supplement-level vitamin E will be safe to use during your pregnancy. Vitamin E has a number of skin-related benefits so if you get approval from your physician then this one comes highly recommended.
An ‘old wives’ tale’ about your linea nigra
One story that you may have heard about your pregnancy line is that you can tell the gender of your baby by how it progresses. Supposedly if this line goes past your navel and up all the way to your rib-level then you are going to have a baby boy. If the linea nigra stops at your bellybutton, well, then it’s a little girl that’s coming soon into your life. Is there any truth to this? You can check it yourself on Google but we recommend just having fun with it and seeing for yourself!
Some final words
In this article we’ve tackled the subject of the linea nigra (which, incidentally, is simply latin for ‘black line’.). A natural phenomenon related to the pigmentation changes forced by your pregnancy hormones, this line is nothing to worry about and does not indicate anything about your own health or your child’s (with the possible exception of folic acid intake). So once you see this line starting to develop you can try some of our tips and tricks to attempt to stop it or slow it down or simply just let it happen. After all, it’s only natural!