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What is the Linea Nigra?

What That Dark Line on Your Pregnant Belly Is, And Why You Shouldn’t Worry About It

Pregnancy brings with it many new things and experiences. The most pronounced of these is the transformation of your body to accommodate for your new bundle of joy. One of the lesser-known components of this transformation is the linea nigra (‘black line’). Because of its relative obscurity, many mothers become curious, and perhaps worried about the new dark line that appears on their torso during pregnancy. But the linea nigra should hold no cause for concern. That new dark line that runs from your pubic bone up toward your breasts is merely yet another natural outcome of the uptick in hormonal activity experienced during pregnancy. Specifically, the linea nigra arises due to an increase in melanin. Like many of the physical manifestations of pregnancy, it might not be the most welcome change. But, don’t worry, all of these changes are temporary, and in a few months, you’ll forget they ever occurred.

Dark lines can also appear in other parts of the body- most frequently, around your belly button, areolas, and vagina. But they, too, should all disappear between nine and 12 months postpartum.

Note to breastfeeding moms: You’ll probably be on the latter end of that spectrum. Explanations for this differ, though the current intuition is that it is related to hormones.

The linea nigra and other skin-changes resulting from pregnancy cannot be avoided entirely, though they can be managed.

Our advice: Keep up your exercise routine, slather on lotions enriched with vitamin E, walk as much as possible and get enough vitamin C to keep your veins healthy (and non-spidery) to keep your skin glowing the right way.