Linea Nigra: Do You Have It?

My linea nigra!

The other day, I was getting into the shower when my husband yelped, “What is that black line on your bump? Are you splitting apart?!”

Hardy-har-har. You are so funny.

All joking aside, the linea nigra is no big deal. But what causes it?

Find out after the jump! 

Linea nigra means “black line” in Latin. It’s a dark, vertical line that appears on the bump in about 75% of pregnant women. It’s due to the increased about of melanocyte-stimulating hormone in the women’s body; this hormone is actually produced by the placenta. This same hormone is what causes your nipples to darken and can trigger increased skin pigmentation (such as freckles or dark spots).

The increased amount of melanocyte-stimulating hormone is exactly why pregnant women should be very careful about wearing sunscreen during pregnancy (here’s my post on how to choose a safer sunscreen).

Don’t worry – linea nigra will fade a few months after the baby is born!

Do you have linea nigra, too?


Read more from Caitlin on Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful. You can follow her on Twitter, too.