What is the Linea Negra?
Also known as the linea nigra, the linea negra is a dark line that forms down the middle of some women’s bellies as their pregnancy progresses. The line is normally about a centimeter in width, and can run from the pubic bone to the bottom of the rib cage in some women.
Linea negra is more commonly found in women who already have darker skin pigmentation. It is caused by an increased production of the pigment melanin during pregnancy. Prior to a dark line, some women might see a lighter, white line called “linea alba”.
Linea negra normally starts appearing during the second trimester, and may last for several months after your baby is born. For some women the line will never completely go away. Some doctors believe that there may be a connection between a woman’s insulin level and her getting linea negra, or even not getting enough folic acid.
Linea negra has a myth associated with it as well. It is an oldwives’ tale that if the linea negra stops at the belly button, the woman is having a girl, and if it goes all the way to the bottom of the rib cage then the woman is having a boy.
There is no danger to mom or baby from the linea negra; however it does bother some women. There are a few things you can do to help reduce the color and site of the line.
- Stay out of the sun
- Increase your intake of folic acid
- Try using makeup to cover up the line
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