When you get pregnant you expect to have all kind of symptoms, some relatively normal, others verystrange. In strange symptoms category is also that small line dark colored which can appear on your belly.
This change of the skin is called Linea Nigra. Its name comes from Latin and means "black line". And it is exactly like that: a line much dark colored than the rest of your skin, which appears on pregnant women's belly, linking the umbilicus with pubic area. Rarely, linea nigra passes over the umbilicus and reaches to xiphoid appendix (chest head). Popular myths say that mothers who will give birth to a baby girl have linea nigra until umbilicus, and for those who will have a baby boy, it reaches to xiphoid.
How can pregnancy go to forming such line on your belly? Guilty are the hormones, as in other pregnancy symptoms cases. Probably you already noticed (or you will notice soon) that your breasts areolas also become darker colored and bigger, freckles (if you have them) become more pronounced, and on your face also appear other dark colored spots, which form so called "pregnant woman mask" or chloasma.
Pregnancy hormones give an excess of melanin, the pigment which gives color to our skin. Melanin is the same pigment as that which darkens your skin when you get bronzed. We don't know yet why its hyper production manifests with a right line on the belly. All we know is that women with dark colored skin have more chances to make linea nigra than those who have light skin. Before its appearance, linea nigra can be seen as a light colored line, called linea alba.
Linea nigra appears in the second trimester of pregnancy and disappears for most of the cases in few months after birth. But for most of the mothers it doesn't even appear.
If though you have something like this, don't worry. Linea nigra disappears by itself after birth, so you won't keep it for the rest of your life. Until birth, take care of how and how long you expose yourself to the sun. UV rays, natural or from the solar, accentuate colored spots on your skin, including linea nigra. That's why is good to avoid the sun, and if you go at the beach use a cream with protection solar factor (at least SPF 15).
Some specialists say that skin spots to pregnant women would be linked of lack of folic acid. There are still not enough proofs in the favor of this theory, but it is good to consume as much folic acid as possible, which you find in vegetables with green leaves, in integral cereals but also in prenatal supply. Even if folic acid doesn't diminish linea nigra, it will make good to your baby by preventing congenital malformations.
Read the English version of this article: Linea Nigra