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Linea Nigra: What You Should Know About Pregnancy Belly Line

Pregnancy is a wonderful phase in a woman's life. Mostly because they are showered with lots of care and attention which may otherwise be nonexistent!

During pregnancy, a lot of changes happen in a woman's body. While a few are frustrating and challenge you physically, some are fascinating as well. If you have been discussing your pregnancy body with your friends, chances are you must have heard them talk about their pregnancy belly line. Wondering what it means? Well, like always, we have all the answers for you right here on Boldsky.

In this article, we will be talking about the pregnancy belly line called linea nigra, which appears on the belly of pregnant women. Read on to know how it appears and what it indicates.

What Is Linea Nigra?

Linea nigra is a dark vertical line that appears on the abdomen of pregnant women, mostly during the second or the third trimester of pregnancy. Linea nigra literally means 'dark line' in Latin. Though most of the women experience this phenomenon, if you do not notice a dark line on your abdomen, you need not worry as there are almost 25% of pregnant women who share your experience.

Linea nigra forms vertically on the pregnant belly. Though each case of linea nigra may be different from others, some lines may start from the belly button and extend till the pubic bone, while some run upwards and end near the breasts. Some cases of linea nigra, however, extend all the way from the breasts to the pelvic bone as well.

When Does Linea Nigra Appear?

A majority of the cases of Linea Nigra start appearing during the second and the third trimester of the pregnancy. It usually gets more noticeable as and when the belly starts expanding.

Linea nigra usually appears due to the hormonal changes that happen to the skin during pregnancy. High levels of oestrogen in a pregnant body, stimulates the production melanocyte, which is responsible for the darkening of the skin cells.

The line also marks the point where the right abdominal muscles meet the left abdominal muscles. It is commonly called linea alba or the white line. When these muscles start to separate to accommodate the growing foetus, it gives way to the appearance of the linea nigra.

Linea nigra is most commonly noticeable in women with darker skin tones when compared to fair complexioned women.

Does Everyone Get Linea Nigra?

It is said that about 70% of pregnant women experience the phenomenon of linea nigra during their pregnancy. It is most common in women with darker skin tones due to the high presence of melanin in their bodies.

If you do not notice the linea nigra during your pregnancy, it doesn't mean that you do not have the line, it may just be less noticeable in your case. Nevertheless, the presence or the absence of the line does not in any way affect the foetus, therefore, there is nothing that you need to be worried about.

Does The Linea Nigra Disappear?

Linea nigra is just another pregnancy phenomenon which will soon disappear right after pregnancy. The line starts to fade after the delivery and becomes unnoticeable in about three-four months after the delivery. However, this process is a tad slow in women with a darker skin tone because of the already high presence of melanin in their bodies.

If you want the line to disappear as soon as possible, you may want to prevent exposing the area to the sun. Also, using lightening creams will further speed up the process of fading the line.

Can Linea Nigra Predict The Gender Of The Baby?

There are a lot of old wives' tales which directly relate the linea nigra to the gender of the foetus. It is said that if the linea nigra extends from the chest till the belly button, you are predicted to carry a baby girl. But if the line extends all the way to the pelvic bone, you are likely to give birth to a baby boy. However, all these are just myths attached to the phenomenon as there is no concrete way of knowing the gender of the baby. This idea stems from ancient ages where different signs of pregnancy were used to predict the birth of a boy or a girl.

Scientifically speaking, the chances of giving birth to a boy or a girl are always 50-50 in any given case and there is nothing that a pregnancy can do to either predict or conceive a baby of a specific gender. Though there is no scientific reason for the appearance of the linea nigra, it is completely harmless and indicates nothing related to the pregnancy, except for the fact that your pregnancy hormones are working just fine and your baby is arriving into the world soon.

Read more about: pregnancy
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