Are you concerned about the dark line (linea nigra) that appears on the stomach during pregnancy and you’d want to make it a thing of the past?
Do you want to have your flawless skin back or want your skin especially the side around the tummy to return to its original state without the pregnancy line?
Don’t worry, in this article we discuss everything you need to know about the pregnancy line including how to get rid of pregnancy line on the stomach.
What is Linea Nigra?
This is usually a dark vertical line that appears on any pregnant woman’s belly. It is also known as the “black line” in Latin.
This black line or linea nigra is usually seen from the belly button down to the pubic area but that may not always be the case because they are some women whose own also extends upwards from the belly button.
It is associated with pregnancy and as such there are high chances of a pregnant woman developing one.
Due to color and skin differences, the Linea nigra is less common or noticeable in women with fair skin. It also appears on newborn babies too.
Why Does The Linea Nigra Appear?
Linea Nigra is caused due to high levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy.
These hormones are also responsible for producing a larger amount of melanin (a pigment that gives the skin its color) and this extra pigmentation shows up as a dark pregnancy line on your stomach.
We all know there are a lot of body changes during the gestation period and it may interest you to know that the linea nigra is just one of the ways that skin can change during pregnancy.
Some women experience darker patches called melasma or “mask of pregnancy.” on their faces. There are women whose body changes involve other pigmented areas of skin getting darker.
Places like areolas (the area around the nipples), the labia majora (the folds of skin around the female reproductive organ), and where your skin creases, such as by your armpits and where your legs meet your torso may get darker.
The pregnancy line is not a determinant for pregnancy, though it does appear in a great number of pregnant women it has also been seen in a significant number of the opposite sex including women who are not pregnant.
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When Does The Linea Nigra Appear?
The linea nigra does appear when the hormone levels rise, this is usually during the second trimester and it persists all through the pregnancy says OB-GYN Michelle Tollefson, M.D., who is an assistant professor in the department of health professions, integrative therapies program at Metropolitan State College of Denver.
As the hormone level rises, the line begins to draw typically about one centimeter in width which usually starts at the pubic bone and continues up to the belly button, though it can extend to just below the breast in some pregnant women.
As you should know, this line on the belly has always been present but not visible. When the line is invisible it is called the linea alba (white line) when it becomes darkened and visible, the name changes from linea alba to linea nigra.
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When Does Linea Nigra Go Away?
Usually Linea nigra typically goes away on its own within a few months of delivery, so a lot of medical experts advise not treating it — especially during pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding.
Also, avoid using bleaching creams to clear your dark lines, this is because bleaching creams often contain hydroquinone, which is said to be unsafe for the baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding period,” as suggested by Dr. Vaneeta Sheth, M.D., who is an associate physician and also an instructor in dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
How To Get Rid Of Pregnancy Line On The Stomach?
Women are always bothered and disturbed about their skin look and they would want their skin to be flawless.
Therefore it is normal for some women to seek answers on how to get rid of the pregnancy line on the stomach, especially after delivery.
Normally, pregnancy usually disappears on its own after delivery. But if you’re impatient and you want to get rid of linea nigra as soon as possible, then you may use bleaching creams after delivery if you’re formula-feeding, or you could try a fade cream or topical retinol Dr. Vaneeta Sheth.
To lower the risk of discoloration, you should keep your stomach covered when you head to the beach, and avoid using tanning beds. By doing this the right way, you’ll rest assured that after your baby is born the line will disappear eventually!
Remember always consult your doctor or dermatologist before you apply a bleaching cream on your skin to avoid any health issues.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Pregnancy Line
If you want a natural approach, there are a few things you can do things to lessen the contrast.
- Lemon juice: Mix 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 hydrogen peroxide (cucumber juice is a good alternative for hydrogen peroxide) in a spray bottle. Apply and rub it on your belly two or more times a day to help remove the dark pigmented top layer of skin.
- Apple Cider Vinegar toner: ACV is very effective in removing dark spots and improving overall skin health. Simply mix 1/2 Apple cider vinegar and 1/2 water, then apply and rub it directly into the dark region on your stomach.
- Turmeric milk: Turmeric is very effective in protecting the skin from UV damage. Just make a paste of turmeric and milk, and then rub it on the region on your stomach. After that leave on for 10-15 minutes, then wash off. Drinking turmeric milk is also very effective too.
- Horseradish milk: Mix a few inches of horseradish root with 1/2 cup of water, then pour into a glass. Mix 2 tablespoons of the horseradish juice along with 2 tablespoons of milk. Then rub it on your stomach 10 minutes before showering.
- Milk of magnesia: Clean the dark pregnancy area and apply the liquid with a cotton ball before going to bed. Then rinse off in the morning.
- Oatmeal honey mask: Oatmeal flake and honey have unique enzymes that can break down the dark pigment. To do this, simply mix cooked oatmeal with raw honey to form a mask, and then apply to the dark area. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before washing off.
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Is Linea Nigra Dangerous?
No, linea nigra isn’t dangerous, although its appearance may be disturbing. About 75 percent of women will go through this hormone-induced darkening of the skin during pregnancy. According to Dr. Tollefson, it is considered cosmetic and is nothing you have to be worried about.
How To Prevent Linea Nigra
You can’t prevent linea nigra. Some women produce more melanin than others, however, practicing these habits daily can help minimize hyperpigmentation.
- Cover Up or Put on Sunscreen: Avoid peak hours (between 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.) and stay in the shade if you don’t have any important place to go. Exposing yourself to too much sun can increase hyperpigmentation, which is why your skin tans (or burns).
- Take Your Prenatal: Deficiency in Folate can increase hyperpigmentation, so make sure you take the recommended amount of folic acid.
- Eat More of Folate Rich Foods: Dark green vegetables (such as spinach, collard greens, and kale), asparagus, broccoli, and citrus (papaya, oranges, and grapefruit) are enriched with the highest concentrations of folic acid. So try and consume them more.
Read Also: Sunburn when pregnant (Prevention & Helpful Tips)
Does Linea Nigra mean it’s A Girl Or A Boy?
Someone may ask you if you have a linea nigra as a way of knowing the sex of the baby. There are several old wives’ tales that predict whether you’ll have a boy or a girl without the help of a scan, but most of them are just for fun.
Well, this one is no different—in fact, a lot of people can’t even seem to agree to the fact that whether dark pregnancy means you’re having a boy or a girl!
Some people suggest that women with no linea nigra will have a boy. Others suggest it depends on the length of the linea nigra. If the line stops at your belly button, it’s a girl while if the line goes to the rib cage, it’s a boy then you’re having a boy. In my case, I had a visible linea nigra with my son’s pregnancy and no line with my girl.
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The pregnancy line isn’t harmful and most times it fades away after delivery, if your own doesn’t fade away, you can try using bleaching cream but ensure you seek professional advice and be sure you know what you are opting for.
We hope this article has given indebt answer to the question, how to get rid of pregnancy line on the stomach. If you have any other tips that have worked for you, be kind enough to share them with us.