Where does the brown line that adorns the belly of some pregnant women come from? This phenomenon raises many questions among expectant mothers. Can we avoid it, when does it disappear? Anh-Chi Ton, midwife, answers us.
First trimester nausea, sore chest, back pain, digestive problems, pregnancy is accompanied by many more or less annoying symptoms. Some women also go see a mysterious brown line appear on the belly.
“This is a normally white, invisible line called linea alba, located between the pubis and the navel. It gradually becomes brown during pregnancy and can rise higher than the navel, about the height of the uterus“says the midwife. We call her linea nigra. She also specifies that if she is deemed unsightly by certain future mothers, the brown line puts them at no risk, any more than their baby. This hyperpigmentation is therefore absolutely safe.
The brown line usually appears at the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, when under the effect of pregnancy hormones (estrogen and progesterone) the placenta causes an increase in melanin production. “This then creates hyperpigmentation“says Anh-Chi Ton. The melanotropic hormone is also responsible for the pregnancy mask and the darkening of the nipples or moles. As with the pregnancy mask, the brown line is more visible in women with dark skin, even if it does not spare fair skin.
The brown line is a natural and hormonal phenomenon, there is not much that can be done to avoid it. However, as for the pregnancy mask, it is better to avoid exposing your skin to the sun without protection. Ideally, if you must go to the beach, avoid direct exposure and wear a anti-uv swimsuit. Sunscreen index 50 is also essential!
Brown line fades naturally after baby is born, But it may be more or less long. “It depends on women. A young mother who is breastfeeding can for example keep it a little longer“, explains Anh-Chi Ton. Even the young midwife, the midwife experienced it:”I still have mine at six months postpartum!”
Belly shape, conception month, future mother’s preference for sugar or salt, there are countless urban legends who claim to determine the sex of the baby. According to one belief, the length of the brown line would also be a valuable indicator. If it exceeds the navel, it would be a little girl, if it stops before the navel then it would be a boy! You are free to believe it … or not! Thanks to Anh-Chi Ton, midwife in Paris.