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Why a Dark Line Sometimes Appears on Your Belly When You’re Pregnant

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The changes in the body during pregnancy are surprising and, in fact, sometimes things happen that we cannot explain. For example, the linea nigra that appears on most pregnant women, almost overnight.

5-Minute Crafts explains the reason for the existence of this important physical transformation in the skin of a mother-to-be.

What is the dark line that appears on the abdomen during pregnancy?

The linea nigra (Latin for “black line”) that is often referred to as a pregnancy line, is a line that is slightly darker than the natural skin tone that appears on a woman’s abdomen at around 4 months of gestation. It extends from the navel to the pubis, and its appearance is completely normal. In pregnancy, the melanocyte-stimulating hormone increases, which is associated with the change in skin color.

Why does it appear?

Although it has no function of its own, the linea nigra has always been there. Yes, this area (linea alba) appears on the abdomen of both men and women, but with pregnancy and the increased estrogen, the line darkens. It’s also known as the “linea alba,” (Latin: for white line) as it’s actually naturally light.

It’s not forever.

The linea nigra is transient and, once the pregnancy ends, it usually begins to fade. Like its appearance, this change is gradual and doesn’t require any intervention. It’s just recommended that you moisturize the skin, especially on the abdomen, to facilitate its disappearance.

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