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Linea Nigra — When Pregnant Belly Line Appears

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Linea Nigra

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Have you noticed a dark vertical line between your belly button and pubic area during your pregnancy? We’re sure you wondered what could be causing it and its prominence on your body. This mysterious line is called the linea nigra. It has always been there on our bodies and only got darker in the second trimester or around the 23rd week of pregnancy

Let’s uncover the significance as well as some unknown facts about linea nigra in this article.

So, When Does Linea Nigra Appear and Why?

The linea nigra, known as the “black line” in Latin, is a zip line between your belly button and pubic area. It only got darker with pregnancy because of hormonal changes. Generally, this condition of the darkening linea alba will not be noticed (as the “white” or “colorless line” of the skin makes it difficult to notice) irrespective of it running down to your pelvis. 

On the other hand, the skin all over your body becomes hyperpigmented or darkened during pregnancy (even your facial skin). This is known as the melasma, or the “mask of pregnancy,” or newly darker areolas. In cases of women with darker skin, it tends to become even more pronounced.

Myths About The Linea Nigra

With the darkening of the linea nigra, there are numerous accounts of beliefs people tend to agree upon. Here are two major beliefs exposed and fun to know about:

1. By the experts

Certain experts have theorized this dark line that grows in your belly as a chalk of evolution. Also, the more visible the Linea Nigra gets, it is seen as a line that perhaps helps the newborns who fail to see very clearly, to find their way to the breast to nurse themselves. Isn’t this just an amazing fact to know?

2. The Old Wives Tale

Here is a fun tale about the linea nigra line: We are all aware of how midwives were involved in delivering a child in the old times. They (here the old wives) believed that if the linea nigra runs only to the navel, you are expected to have a girl and if it runs past your belly button towards the ribs, it’s a boy (Well, of course, these are just beliefs and are not backed by the scientific facts).

What Can Be Done About The Linea Nigra Line During Pregnancy?

Linea nigra during pregnancy is not a bad, harmful, or shameful thing. But if you do not want it to be seen, you may follow these quick tips to make it go away or make it less pronounced:

1. Cover it up

No, we do not mean covering it up with clothes! But, try covering it with a tan. This can help you intensify your skin discoloration during your pregnancy. The easiest way of doing so is by using an SPF 30 sunscreen and then keeping the tummy covered as much as possible.

2. Eat healthily, stay wealthy

One of the reasons for an increase in hyperpigmentation is a sheer deficiency of folic acid. To help aid this deficiency, try consuming healthy food in your pregnancy diet with foods that have plenty of folates. For instance, green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and prenatal vitamins.

How to Prevent The Linea Nigra Line From Appearing During Pregnancy?

Ok! Wearing clothes and covering the region in the direct sun does help prevent or minimize the appearance of the linea nigra. So be sure to cover your tummy region by wearing clothing as much as possible, and slathering the skin exposed in sunscreen.

When Does Linea Nigra Go Away?

You need not worry much about the appearance of the linea nigra line as it gradually fades away all on its own in a few months after the birth of the baby. Meantime, embrace it as it makes the growing bump beautiful.

Isn’t linea nigra an amazing topic to know about? Irrespective of it not being supported by the scientists! However, did you know of another method that is perhaps also not scientifically proven but has been known to decipher the gender of the baby? This method is known as the Ramzi Method. Just like the Linea Nigra is seen by the old wives as a way of understanding and concluding the gender of the baby, Dr. Ramzi came up with the Ramzi method. Here is more about Ramzi’s theory, sit tight to explore the ways that might just leave you awestruck! 

Having Linea Nigra But Not Pregnant? Here’s Why!

Linea nigra does appear in non-pregnant women and children. It doesn’t fade completely leaving some people with a faint but permanent line after childbirth. No one is sure why it gets darker in non-pregnant people but it seems to be connected with hormonal changes. Underlying health conditions or certain medications could contribute to making the linea nigra darker. If it concerns you too much, we say visit a healthcare professional for your peace of mind.

The Bottom Line

Linea nigra is a line that falls in between the belly button to the pelvic region. The fun fact about this curious line is that it has always been there and only darkens with your pregnancy. Along with many idealized readings and beliefs, it is perhaps nothing to fear or isn’t a sign of anything dangerous but a pigmented line. So, do not fear, eat healthily, and the linea nigra will eventually fade away. 

Linea Nigra FAQs:

1. I have a dark line running down from my belly button to the pelvic area. Is that safe to have?

Yes, you do not need to worry about the zipped line that runs down from your belly button to the pelvic area as it is a normal thing to have. This dark line referred to in the question is known as the Linea Nigra, and is completely safe to have. So, you do not need to worry and think of it as something unnatural and out of the blue.

2. Why does my Linea Nigra get darker with my pregnancy?

The Linea Nigra is supposed to be there for everyone from the very start and does not just appear all of a sudden. The only difference here is that this light line turns into a darker line during the trimester of your pregnancy. This is resulted due to the pigmentation that takes place and the rising amounts of the hormonal changes that a mother-to-be experiences. In order words, this linea nigra is caused by the increased melanocyte-stimulating hormone made from the placenta which is caused by melasma and darkened nipples.

3. How can I reduce the Linea Nigra?

The most simple aid or way to reduce the Linea Nigra in you can be practiced by two very common and simple steps:
  • The first being, by simply covering it up. This can be done by getting yourself a tan that could equalize your skin tone.
  • And, second, to have a healthy diet. ( Look at the article above, for a better understanding)!
  • 4. How do I know if it's linea nigra or something else?

    Linea nigra is about ¼ to ½ inches wide. It stretches vertically down from the pubis, down the belly to the umbilicus. As your pregnancy develops, the line gets darker because of the hormonal changes. By the 5th month of pregnancy, this line will be visible because of its hyperpigmentation.

    5. Does linea nigra mean dark baby?

    The linea nigra line is associated with external skin cells and restricted to just that. It does not cause any darkening of the baby or any other body part. It's a natural part of a body just like a stretch mark that simply darkens because of the pregnancy hormones.


    On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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