What is the Linea Nigra?

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If you are further along in your pregnancy, you may have noticed a line form down the middle of your belly. The longer you are pregnant, the darker it seems to get. What exactly is it, and why does it look different on everyone, or why do some people not even get it?

That wonderful line is called linea nigra, and about 80 perfect of pregnant women will get it some time after their first trimester. This line typically runs from your pelvic bone to your belly button, but can go all the way up to your sternum. The width is usually small, about 1/4 inch, but can be as big as 1/2 inch as well. If you do get this, it will usually darken throughout the pregnancy, and most likely will disappear when your baby is born.

While doctors aren’t sure of the exact reason for the line to form, many believe it is due to hormones (just another reason to love them). Hormones from the placenta, which can cause the areolas to darken, may be responsible for this as well. The darkness of the line is different for everyone and there is no telling how dark yours will become. There is even an old wives tale that if you get this line you are pregnant with a boy. Again, this is just a myth, as any woman can get it.

Don’t like how it looks? Unfortunately it is just another part of pregnancy and it should fade once the baby is born. Doctors recommend you don’t use any lotions or bleaching while pregnant, as that may be harmful to the baby. So love you body for all the wonderful things it is doing, and don’t worry about the line, it will go away once your baby is here!