What is linea nigra? All you need to know.
Have you ever wondered what causes the pregnancy line down your stomach? Does everyone get one? When will it appear? Does it ever go? Can I tell the sex of my baby from it?
During her 2nd pregnancy, television presenter Rochelle Humes took to Instagram to ask her fans what the dark line down the middle of her belly was.
The answer? It’s her linea nigra – literally ‘black line’ in Latin – that appears during pregnancy, running from your belly button down to your pubic area. It replaces the ‘linea alba’ (white line) you had all the time before pregnancy but probably didn’t notice.
What causes linea nigra?
Your skin becomes hyper-pigmented when you’re pregnant, thanks to hormones – which means the linea alba becomes darker.
When does it appear?
The linea nigra usually appears in your 2nd trimester, though not everyone gets one, and that’s nothing to worry about. It’s also more likely to appear on darker skin; if you’re pale, you might have one but just don’t notice it.
Can I get rid of it?
You can help to stop it becoming darker by wearing sun block or covering your stomach if you’re out in the sun.
But really the best thing for it is to give it time: after you’ve had your baby, the linea nigra should fade away over a few months.
Can you tell the sex of your baby from the linea nigra?
The old wives’ tale has it that if your linea nigra keeps going above your belly button you’re having a boy, and if it stops below your belly button it’s a girl.
But, as with most of these things, there’s no scientific evidence to back it up.