Have you lately noticed a vertical, dark line between your belly button and your pubic area? There’s no need to get stressed out because of it. The ‘linea nigra’ has always been there at that exact spot. As you are nearing your 23 weeks of pregnancy, the line tends to become darker and more noticeable.
What causes this ‘dark line’?
A variety of skin anomalies including the darkening areolas are a result of the pregnancy hormones. All these factors together are responsible for the darkening of your ‘linea alba’ or more commonly known as the ‘white line’. This line is present even before you became pregnant, between your belly button and your pelvis but you had never really noticed it before. However, hyper-pigmentation of the skin occurs during pregnancy and this same ‘white line’ now turns into a ‘black line’ or ‘linea nigra’. You may also notice that the skin on your face has darkened too. This is known as ‘chloasma’ or the ‘mask of pregnancy’.
What do you need to know?
Having fears related to the safety of your unborn child is completely normal when you see that dark line appearing, especially if you’ve not been aware of its existence before. However, it’s important for you to know that your baby is absolutely comfortable and happy inside your tummy. If you have a darker skin tone, the ‘linea nigra’ does tend to be more pronounced. You may also be worried about the dark line becoming a permanent addition to your body. The ‘linea nigra’ fades away a few months after the baby is born.
An old wives’ tale also says that if the dark line runs only up to the navel, then there’s a good probability that you may have a baby girl. However, if the line happens to run past your belly button up to near your ribs, then a boy may be on the cards.
What can you do about it?
There is nothing to get worked up about as the line will progressively disappear on its own. However, there are a few quick tips to make the line less prominent in the interim:
- Try and keep your tummy under wraps to prevent skin discoloration during pregnancy. When you go out, always use a sunblock which is at least SPF15.
- A deficiency in folic acid in the body is sometimes an indication of skin discolorations. Eat healthy during pregnancy ensuring that your diet contains plenty of folic acid from leafy vegetables, oranges, and whole-wheat breads and cereals.
During pregnancy, the dark line on your belly is not the only skin change that occurs. Over the next few months and maybe beyond the pregnancy you will have to go through multiple skin transformations of such kind. However, it’s not just gloom and doom all the time. Some mums-to-be actually have a glowing skin. Indulge in the right exercise routine, use the right lotion with Vitamin E and walk as much as possible to get that Vitamin C to keep you skin healthy and glowing the right way.