“What causes linea nigra during pregnancy?

Pregnancy hormones are behind the appearance of the linea nigra (Latin for “black line”). The condition is the darkening of your linea alba, the “white” or “colorless line” of skin you’d probably never noticed that runs between your belly button and your pelvis. The linea nigra is the result of fluctuating hormones during pregnancy. One theory is that the hormones cause your body to produce larger amount of melanin (a compound responsible for giving your skin pigment), and this extra pigmentation shows up as a dark pregnancy line on your stomach. Women of all different skin colors are affected, although linea nigra can be more pronounced in women with fair skin. Approximately 75 percent of women notice it at some point during pregnancy. A fun old wives’ tail (which is not, of course, backed by science): If the linea nigra runs only up to your navel, you’re having a girl, but if it runs past your belly button to up near your ribs, it’s a boy.

How Can I Get Rid of Linea Nigra? You can’t, and that’s OK! It’s a perfectly normal part of pregnancy, and just shows externally all the incredible things your body is doing internally to nourish and care for your baby. It’s pretty much proof of the miracle that’s happening in there, so don’t be self-conscious about it!

When does the linea nigra go away?   “The linea nigra should gradually fade all on its own a few months after your baby is born.” @midwifejohanna

Photo // @jerushasutton