Linea Nigra is the medical term for that dark line that appears during pregnancy. The line often starts at the belly button and ends at the public bone.
Causes of Linea Nigra
Pregnancy hormones are responsible for many skin changes during pregnancy, including linea nigra. Increased melanocyte stimulating hormone can cause darker nipples and areolas, as well as freckles. Linea nigra is not a painful condition and poses no threat to you or your baby. There is no physical reason for the line to appear other than indicating that the baby is coming.
Important Facts About Linea Nigra
This pregnancy induced skin change is caused by melanocyte stimulating hormone, which darkens certain areas when in contact with the sun. Therefore, sitting out in the sun with your tummy in the air will make the line darker and more noticeable. On darker skin the line will look darker, but may be more noticeable on lighter skin.
Treatments for Linea Nigra
There are no real treatments for linea nigra aside from using sunscreen when outside. Some researchers believe the line is associated with a deficiency in folic acid. Prenatal vitamins are created with more than enough folic acid for mom and baby, but eating foods that are dark and rich in folic acid never hurts. Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are all great sources of additional folic acid. Increasing folic acid will not necessarily prevent the line from appearing or cause the line to fade, so you should not worry if you are eating a folic acid rich diet and linea nigra still appears.