Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to a woman. Bringing in life in the world is a big deal, and most women look forward to this day. However, in addition to the beauty of the event, certain bodily changes become difficult for many women to accept.
Pregnancy is a complicated procedure and takes some toll on the female body. During pregnancy, the body goes through severe hormonal changes, which impact the primary bodily functions.
The hormonal imbalance gives rise to both physical and psychological distress, which a woman has to bear during this period. It is not uncommon for women to go through chronic depression and frequent hot flushes during pregnancy. Additionally, quite a few physical changes come up. One is lines on the stomach during pregnancy. This is officially known as the Linea Nigra.
Linea Nigra concern many women who want to know as much there is to know about these during pregnancy. Through this article, we will try to answer all those obvious questions about Linea Nigra, which haunt women during pregnancy.
What is the pregnancy line on the stomach?
The pregnancy line, which is called the Linea Nigra, is a dark line on stomach pregnant.
The line traces the path from the navel to the pubic bone region. The very same line darkens during pregnancy and is then called the linea nigra or the black line.
The pregnancy lines on the belly are never black, to begin with; however, they grow from light brown to dark brown during pregnancy.
Is it possible to have a pregnancy line on the stomach but not pregnant?
It is possible that the line was there all along, but since it was so light in color, it had gone unnoticed. Before pregnancy, this line is referred to as the linea alba or white line
When does the linea nigra appear?
Though the line may be present throughout, it grows darker and becomes linea nigra around the 5th month of the pregnancy. However, quite a few women have noted that the line has appeared suddenly. On the other hand, others have reported that the line popped up one fine day while they stepped out of the shower. But no matter what, this line darkens as one goes through with the pregnancy.
What causes pregnancy lines on belly?
Forming a dark line on the stomach when pregnant or pregnancy stomach line is very natural and happens to everyone. However, the exact cause for the formation of these dark lines is unknown.
As mentioned earlier, the body goes through a lot of hormonal changes during pregnancy. The entire system starts to function differently. In that light, it is possible to grow a pregnancy line on stomach owing to the hormonal imbalance.
However, there are a lot of other theories that try to explain the formation of this dark line during pregnancy. One theory premises that the melanocyte triggers hormone produced by the placenta is one of the primary reasons. This hormone also makes the nipples grow darker.
There are quite a few old wives’ tales associated with the linea nigra. One such story highlights that if the linea nigra runs only up till the naval, then the baby will be a girl. But if it passes e navel and reaches almost near the ribs, then the baby would be a boy. However, these are just folklores, not backed by any scientific evidence.
What can you do about the line down the middle of the stomach?
While the appearance of the linea nigra during pregnancy is natural, there is no denying the fact that it does look bad. So the best thing that one can do is cover up the line during this time.
Here are a few tips that can be used to this end:
Many a time, a folic acid deficiency can lead to hyperpigmentation. In that light, it’s essential to eat well during pregnancy. The daily diet should contain a lot of green vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. This should be paired with protein and other vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it’s essential to consume prenatal vitamins daily.
Well, this is one quick way to go about it. While makeup can be used to cover up this line, it can be a time-consuming process with all the blending. The second-best alternative is to spend some time and work out a tan. The tan will hide any form of discoloration on your body, and thus the pregnant belly line will not show as much.
Characteristics of line on the belly during pregnancy
As mentioned earlier, this line can travel from the pubic bone region up to the umbilicus or the belly button. However, in some cases, it rides back up to the sternum. This line is generally 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch wide.
If one notices this line properly, it can be seen that it grows lighter, and as it goes up. However, in some women, the reverse may happen, i.e., the line can go darker. However, there is no need to worry, since the variation is normal and there is nothing to be concerned about.
Can Linea Nigra be harmful?
Many women have this question since the line kind of stands out, which makes most women quite concerned. However, there is nothing to worry about since this line is anything but dangerous. It is one of the most common markers of pregnancy (other than your belly bump). More than 75 percent of women experience the appearance of this line during their pregnancy.
Can the line down the middle of the stomach be prevented?
Unfortunately, there is nothing that one can do to prevent this line from emerging. It is a very natural part of pregnancy. However, you can try the cover-up techniques mentioned above if you do not like to have this line. But eventually, this line fades away after the birth of the bay.
Can Linea Nigra predict the baby’s gender?
Many old wives’ tales talk about different means to determine the gender of the child, and surely linea nigra is one of the many. As per many old wive’s tales, if the pregnancy line on stomach extends downwards, from the navel to the pubic region, then in all probability.
However, if the line travels from farther “north,” then one is going to give birth to a boy. But do not get carried away by it. It is just an old wives’ tale, but it can surely pique your curiosity.
How to reduce line down the middle of the stomach?
If you desperately want to remove the linea nigra, then there are a few things that you can make use of. For instance, quite a few doctors suggest the use of bleaching creams right after delivery. However, this technique can only be used if the new mother is opting for formula feeding. Or else a fading cream or any topical cream can be opted for.
A few women have also found acidic creams useful for the elimination of hyperpigmentation. To reduce discoloration, it is advisable to keep the stomach covered when you opt for bleaching. Additionally, tanning beds should be avoided. However, even if you are not doing any of these, you can rest assured that the dark line on the stomach when pregnant disappears once the baby is born.
Are bleaching creams safe?
No. Though many women have found it useful, bleaching creams are not at all safe. It should be entirely avoided by breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women.
Most bleaching creams contain hydroquinone. This ingredient has been categorized in list C by the FDA database. In other words, the use of these creams is not at all safe, especially for pregnant women. Additionally, no conclusive test has been conducted, and thus, it’s advisable not to use them.
Natural Means of Reducing Linea Nigra:
You can’t, and that is okay. Linea Nigra bears evidence to the fact that your body is doing some fantastic things to nourish the child that you are going to have.
If anything, you should treat your linea nigra as a medal of honor! However, if you are not happy about its appearance and want to cover it or reduce it, a few natural means can be opted for:
Apple cider vinegar is a beneficial ingredient that you can use to treat dark spots and to improve skin quality. Prepare a mixture with a half cup of ACV and half cup water. Mix thoroughly and apply it on the dark spots.
This is a traditional secret from the grandmother’s recipe book. Turmeric milk protects the skin against UV damage. It is very easy to make the paste with just turmeric and milk. Once done, just apply this paste on the linea nigra. Leave for 10 minutes or more and then wash it off. It also helps if turmeric milk is consumed.
Honey and Oatmeal Mask:
While oatmeal acts as an exfoliation agent, honey helps in breaking down dark pigment on the skin.
Thus a mask formed with oatmeal and raw honey can be very useful for reducing dark lines. The mixture can be left on for 10 minutes and then washed off
Milk of Horseradish:
Mix a few inches of horseradish with half a cup of water. Leave the mixture for ten minutes after straining it in a separate bowl. Take two tablespoons of this mixture, add two tablespoons of milk and splash on your stomach before you take a shower
What is the pregnant stomach line actually for?
There are many theories about the actual use of the line down the middle of the stomach. As per many midwives, the linea nigra was originally for the baby to find the breasts. That is how the body evolves to respond to the new changes.
Midwife Marie Louise says” The linea nigra is perfectly normal, it’s a hormonal change and a mainly to facilitate darkening of nipples so that your baby can see his/her target for breastfeeding’
Pregnancy line on the stomach but not pregnant? Is it possible?
It is indeed possible for women, men, and even children to have linea alba while they are not pregnant.
However, women can have a dark line on the stomach under the following circumstance:
Addison’s disease: In some rare cases, women can grow linea nigra, which is indicative of adrenal failure. This is a condition in which the body fails to produce a sufficient amount of cortisol.
As mentioned earlier, pregnancy lines on belly appear when the level of hormones ( progesterone and estrogen) increases in the body. In many cases, hormonal contraceptives increase the level of hormone in the body, which leads to the formation of linea nigra.
Women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome experience a high level of estrogen in the body. Such a situation can cause linea nigra formation.
Linea nigra when does it disappear:
The linea nigra usually starts to reduce right after the birth of the baby, mostly within a few months. However, if a mother is on the breastfeeding stage, it might take longer since the body is still producing hormones. As the hormone levels drop to normal, the line fades away eventually. However, it will reappear with the next pregnancy.
Though a dark line growing on the stomach may not be a big deal in other times, with all the other changes going in the body, it might push one over the edge.
But it’s important to understand that your body is going through a lot of changes doing a lot of incredible things to nurture life within it. In addition to your linea nigra, the stretch marks, the skin tags and all the other changes bare evidence that your body is doing a great deal of work. You are creating a miracle, and you must be proud.