Have you ever wondered how to get rid of linea nigra after giving birth? Well, this unpleasant streak which may appear during pregnancy on your abdomen can remain there for a long time after delivery if you choose not to do anything about it.
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About Linea Nigra
Linea nigra represents the Latin form of “black linie” and is a dark line which occurs vertically on the belly of some women after 20+ weeks of pregnancy. The width of this brownish streak is generally of around 1cm and appears along the midline between the pubic area and the umbilicus. This line appears because of the increased melanocyte-stimulating hormone produced by the placenta, a hormone which may lead to darkened nipples or melasma as well.
Various studies have shown that women with darker pigmentation experience this much more often than fair-skinned women. Normally, linea nigra will disappear a few months after giving birth.
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.
What Is There to Do About Linea Nigra?
Your body needs time to recover. Remember what you may have heard from your mother “You need 9 months to become a mother and another 9 to become a woman again.” The same thing applies to your belly. With patience and a bit of ambition, your abdomen will be the same as it used to be.
You don`t need to worry about linea nigra as it`s harmless for you as well as for your baby. But you might want to be more careful with your diet. The latest studies have shown there are some links between the lack of folic acid and linea nigra. There may be more chances to see this line if you don`t take prenatal vitamins or you don`t eat foods rich in folic acid, such as oranges, green vegetables or fortified bread. This type of food isn`t healthy only for your skin, but also for the baby`s development as well as for birth defect prevention.
A small percentage of people believe that linea nigra is a sign of the baby`s gender. They believe that the line runs all the way to the ribs, you may have a boy, and it only runs to your belly button, you`ll have a girl. But there isn`t any proof to back up this beliefs.
If you have a problem of aesthetics, you`ll most likely may have to get used to the idea because during pregnancy there isn`t much you can do about it. Most of the time, linea nigra will disappear on its own after a few weeks of giving birth. – Visit more info!
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.
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.
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.
Advice 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.
How to Get Rid of Linea Nigra after Giving Birth?
No matter if you have become aware of it or not, you most certainly feel the need to get rid of linea nigra as soon as you can. The first thing you should do to make things faster is to keep your skin moist as often as possible. By getting enough sleep, you`ll also let your cells regenerate faster, so that will help as well.
You cannot always find time to sleep now that your baby has just arrived into this world and he`s starting to cry when you`re least expecting. However, you can ask your life partner or another member of your family to take care of him so you can rest when necessary.
If you want to hide it and make less obvious, there are some tips that you can follow:
- Lighten linea nigra by using unrefined cocoa butter. This may work for stretch marks as well. Begin by rubbing the butter on your abdomen during pregnancy and continue all the way after delivery.
- Vitamin E gel caps can be bought from just about any pharmacy. If you rub it on your abdomen, the skin tone in that particular region will lighten.
- You can also use cosmetic make-up for a few hours, although don`t expect it to work for too long. – Learn more!
- Regular massages with creams and special oils which will act on the tonicity of the skin.
- Nutgrass extract may help in making linea nigra lighter as well.
Linea Nigra & Stretch Marks
A lot of women make the mistake of confusing linea nigra with stretch marks, but they are entirely different. As mentioned above, the “black line” appears due to the fact that the amount of melanin increases and the line becomes darker. Stretch marks usually appear due to the skin stretching beyond its limits which happens during pregnancy or when losing weight rapidly.
Unlike stretch marks, which appear during pregnancy and are very hard to get rid of, linea nigra will most of the time fade away with time. After giving birth, your levels of hormone will slowly return to normal and, thus, linea nigra will become less noticeable little by little.