Early pregnancy line on the stomach – Linea Nigra

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It’s a feel-good, thrilling and frightening moment to be pregnant. Pregnancy-related bodily changes can be both unexpected and lovely, and they can send women on an emotional roller coaster. 

The dark line on the stomach, which seems to form overnight during the second or beginning of the third trimester, is just one of the many changes a woman will notice in the skin during pregnancy.

What is Linea Nigra? 

The linea nigra is a dark centre line that can appear on the skin during pregnancy. It runs from the top of the pubic hair to the belly button, though it can occasionally extend to the breasts. Although the darkening line might seem odd, it is normal and usually goes away after giving delivery. 

The Latin phrase linea nigra, which means black line“, is used to describe this phenomenon. It is the term used to describe the dark vertical line that frequently appears on a pregnant woman’s belly at the halfway point of her pregnancy.

It could be a light brown hue or a colour that is so dark (nearly black). The line becomes noticeable in the second (weeks 13–26) and third (weeks 27–40) trimesters. Dark lines could also develop around the belly button, areolas and vagina, but they should all go away in about nine to twelve months after giving birth.

What causes Linea Nigra? 

Even though the linea nigra line is common, not all expectant mothers will have it. In reality, it’s impossible to predict if a woman will experience this throughout pregnancy. 

Having more pigment-producing cells may make a pregnant woman more susceptible to linea nigra. Linea nigra is likely to recur in later pregnancies if it does so once.

Pregnancy naturally includes the pregnancy line. Although the exact cause of the linea nigra is uncertain, it is thought to be connected to hormone changes or an imbalance caused due to the growing foetus. 

According to a theory, the placenta’s production of the melanocyte-stimulating hormone is the primary cause. The darkening around the nipples is thought to be brought on by this hormone. 

Early pregnancy line on the stomach is one of the many skin changes that can occur during pregnancy. 

Almost all pregnant women have some form of hyperpigmentation on their skin in specific areas. For instance, many pregnant women see a darkening of the areolas or develop melasma, which is the appearance of dark patches of skin on the face.

Hormones like progesterone and oestrogen, which rise in the body during pregnancy, may promote these melanocytes. There is no proven method of preventing linea nigra. 

When Linea Nigra occurs? 

Although the pregnancy line on the stomach could appear at any moment, it usually occurs in the second or third trimester. As mentioned earlier, not everyone receives linea nigra. It’s not to be stressed about in any case.

Purpose of Linea Nigra 

The appearance of the linea nigra is intended to help the infant in locating the breast and is a natural byproduct of the body’s evolution.

The linea nigra is normal. It’s a hormonal imbalance and is mostly there to enable the darkening of nipples so that the infant can see the target for breastfeeding.

For the infant to latch on, it must travel up the dark line from the mother’s growing belly up to the areola. Newborns used to be left with their mother’s skin-to-skin right after birth in the pre-modern era. During this stage, the infant would nudge its way to the breast by reflexively moving up the tummy.

There is no biological justification for this. Since the amniotic fluid that surrounds the foetus for nine months has a scent that is similar to that of the mother’s nipple, it is thought that the newborn will recognise and trust it.

Can the linea nigra predict the gender of my baby? 

Some pregnancy superstitions claim that by examining the linea nigra, one may determine the gender of the unborn child.

To determine the linea nigra, it is required to look at the tummy and the way the line crosses the skin.

A woman has a higher chance of having a girl child if the line runs from the navel to the pubic bone. They are more likely to have a son if the linea nigra, which runs from the navel up to the head, is pointing north. While ultrasound scans are the best and most scientific technique to determine the baby’s gender, there is inconclusive evidence that this type of gender prediction is reliable.

When does the early pregnancy line go away? 

Treating linea nigra is not necessary, as it usually goes away on its own within a few months of delivery. Stay away from bleaching creams as they typically contain hydroquinone, which has not been shown safe to use if a woman is pregnant or nursing.

Can early pregnancy lines be avoided? 

The pregnancy line is not something one can avoid because it is related to hormone levels. 

However, there are things a woman may do to lessen melasma, which may also assist in reducing the linea nigra.

  • Sunscreen – Pigment alterations become more prominent after being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Even when it’s not sunny outside, use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day and frequently reapply throughout the day while going outside. If a person has dark skin, this is still true. Although dark skin contains more melanin (pigment) than light skin and burns from the sun more slowly, this is insufficient to shield them from UV radiation.
  • Do not wax – When the wax is used to remove hair, especially on parts of the body where pigmentation changes are present. The person runs the risk of aggravating melasma skin irritation.
  • Use skincare products that are hypoallergenic – Melasma may become worse on using cleansers and face creams that irritate the skin.

How to get rid of Linea Nigra? 

If a woman is formula-feeding the baby and wants to get rid of the linea nigra, it is advisable to use bleaching creams after birth. One may also try a fading cream or topical retinol. 

Consider using a natural method by dabbing some lemon juice on the skin. Some people claim that the acids help hyperpigmentation recede.

The pregnancy line will ultimately go away when the kid is born.

Preventing Linea Nigra

Although there is nothing one can do to stop the line from forming, one can speak with a doctor about using specific lotions to hasten the line’s fading after delivery. However, it’s crucial to note that women shouldn’t use these lotions while pregnant because they could harm the unborn child.

Use a cosmetics concealer instead of any potent creams on wanting to cover the line during pregnancy. The pigmentation often goes away for most women after having a child. It’s crucial to also apply sun cream postnatally since darker skin patches or linea nigra may resurface in the sun.

A woman cannot use any at-home remedies to get rid of linea nigra during or after pregnancy. If it persists after the baby is born, think about visiting a dermatologist. 

They might suggest skin-lightening products, chemical peels, laser therapy or light therapy to try to get the line to vanish. Apply an SPF whenever the tummy is exposed. Patches of hyperpigmentation might worsen when exposed to the sun’s UV radiation.

Keep in mind that the body has miraculously expanded to accommodate a baby, and it’s acceptable if it never again looks exactly the same.


A vertical, dark line that runs down the belly is called the linea nigra. Most pregnancies result in this line, which is also known as the pregnancy line, but dark-skinned or dark-haired women will detect it more readily. 

High amounts of oestrogen and progesterone, which can make some parts of the skin appear darker when pregnant, are to blame for the linea nigra’s appearance. 

Within a few weeks after delivery, the belly line normally disappears. If a woman experiences a linea nigra during their first pregnancy, it’s likely that they’ll have one again in subsequent pregnancies. However, this is not always the case. 

It might start to show up sooner or later, look dimmer or fainter, or not show up at all. The linea nigra can vary, just like during pregnancy.


What week does linea nigra appear? 

Most people’s linea nigra darkens sufficiently to become noticeable in the second trimester of pregnancy (around 20 weeks). The line is referred to as a white line or linea alba before becoming pregnant. It is referred to as linea nigra when the line becomes dark and noticeable while pregnant.

What does the line on your stomach look like in early pregnancy? 

The linea nigra, which runs from the pubic bone to the belly button, is about 1/4 and 1/2 inches wide. It can sometimes extend toward the breasts past the abdominal button. It can appear brown or light black and is darker than the hue of the skin.

Does the line on my belly mean I’m pregnant? 

During pregnancy, a dark line called the linea nigra appears on the tummy. Typically, it reaches the pubic region from the belly button. The linea nigra is caused due to a surge in hormones and disappears after delivery.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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