Linea Nigra: When Does It Appear & Advices to Prevent It?
Most bellies of pregnant women are crossed vertically by a dark line known medically as linea nigra. This is something absolutely normal and it doesn’t last forever.
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Linea Nigra Causes
One of the effects of the hormonal changes during pregnancy is the activation in excess of melanin, which leads to the excessive pigmentation of the skin due to an increased amount of estrogen, especially under UV rays. This is how “chloasma” (melisma or “the mask of pregnancy”) appears – facial hyperpigmentation and this is how the darker line from the belly appears, which stretches from the pubic bone up to the navel. Pregnant women can notice that areolas become larger and darker, just as the clitoris will as well, and freckles (if they exist) will become more accentuated. There are also cases when linea nigra continues above the navel as well, up to the sternum or breasts.
Some experts claim that the spots on the pregnant woman`s skin are related to the lack of folic acid. There aren`t enough evidence in favor of this theory, but it`s recommended to consume as much folic acid during pregnancy anyway as well as prenatal supplements. Even if folic acid won`t diminish linea nigra, it will be very beneficial for you baby as it will prevent congenital abnormalities.
When Does Linea Nigra Appear?
Are you curious when do you get linea nigra during pregnancy? This line generally appears during the second trimester of pregnancy, around the week 12.
As you may already know, it was noticed that women with darker skin have a more accentuated linea nigra, while those with lighter skin can barely notice it. In any way, it`s important not to worry about it because there are big chances for it to disappear a few months after birth.
Linea Nigra when Does It Disappear?
This dark line that you have already find it to be uncomfortable on your abdomen will gradually disappear a few weeks or even months after giving birth. If you may be breastfeeding your baby, it`s rather normal for several months. Generally speaking, it might take almost a year for this pigmentation to completely wash away.
Linea Nigra and Gender Prediction
There`s a myth related to the length of this median line: if it stretches only up to the navel, it`s believed that you may have a girl, while if it exceeds this particular area, you`ll have a boy. Of course, in our times until the moment when linea nigra will “tell you” whether you`ll have a boy or a girl, you`ll have at least 2 ultrasounds performed which will reveal the gender of the baby.
Are There Any Risks?
A lot of women are rather concern that this dark pigmentation on their abdomen may harm their future child in some way. There`s no reason to worry as your baby won`t be in any harm from any point of view. In most cases, it fades away in a few weeks after delivery.
At Some Women, Linea Nigra Remains
Not all women will get to have their belly drawn, as this line appears at only about two thirds of pregnancies. Keep in mind though – linea nigra can also be the subject of UV rays, so it`s recommended to use a sunscreen cream with a large protection against UV rays, especially to protect its precious “cargo” as well as to avoid letting this line to become more visible than will naturally be.
As mentioned above, you may be near your due date and still not have this line on your belly. Just the same you may have already been given birth and have your child already walking and still have this line on your belly. Actually, studies show that for some women this line remains visible during their entire life, becoming even more pronounced when exposed to the sun.
Advices to Prevent Emphasizing Linea Nigra
Pregnant women can prevent having this line`s color accentuated by avoiding sun exposure, according to most experts. Tan (either naturally or artificially) accentuates even more this line and might make them become rather unaesthetic. If you planned a vacation to the sea, don`t forget your sunscreen cream (at least 15) and don`t stay for long period of time in the sun.
You can also prevent this inconvenient by choosing to eat foods that are rich in folic acid such as spinach, beans, juice or asparagus.
To lighten the pigmentation on your belly, you should put a bit of alcohol on your skin or some lemon juice.
You should also use protective clothing to keep the sunlight away from your belly or from your baby inside.