Here's what causes the black line on a pregnant woman's stomach

The black line is a harmless and temporary condition that typically fades after childbirth.

The black line is called linea nigra [The Bump]

It however comes with so many changes on a woman's body some of which are quite prominent.

One common occurrence that many pregnant women may notice is the appearance of a dark line running down the centre of the abdomen.

This line is known as the linea nigra and it is a dark, vertical line on a pregnant woman's belly that usually extends from the belly button down to her pubic area. In some women it also extends upwards from the belly button.


Most pregnant women will develop one, but it's a little less common or noticeable in women with fair skin.

While the appearance of this line may seem mysterious, it is a natural and normal part of pregnancy.

The primary cause of the black line on a woman's stomach during pregnancy is an increase in melanin production. Melanin is the pigment responsible for the color of our skin, hair, and eyes. During pregnancy, hormonal changes, particularly an increase in estrogen levels, stimulate the production of melanin in the body.

This heightened melanin production can lead to darkening of the skin in various areas, including the abdomen, nipples, and face.


The linea nigra appears along the linea alba, a naturally occurring line of connective tissue that runs down the center of the abdomen. This line is present in all individuals, but it becomes more pronounced during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and the stretching of the abdominal muscles to accommodate the growing baby.

As melanin production increases, the linea alba may darken, resulting in the visible black line known as the linea nigra.

The appearance of the linea nigra typically occurs around the second trimester of pregnancy, though it can vary for different ladies. Some women may notice it earlier, while others may not develop it until later in their pregnancy.

Also, the darkness of the line can vary in intensity, ranging from light brown to deep black. In most cases, the linea nigra gradually fades after childbirth as hormone levels return to normal, though it may persist for several months postpartum.


While the linea nigra is a common occurrence in pregnancy, its appearance and intensity can be influenced by cultural and genetic factors. Individuals with darker skin tones may be more prone to developing a noticeable linea nigra, while those with lighter skin tones may experience a milder or less pronounced darkening. Additionally, genetic predisposition can play a role in determining the likelihood of developing the linea nigra during pregnancy.

In conclusion, the black line on a woman's stomach during pregnancy, known as the linea nigra, is a natural and normal phenomenon caused by an increase in melanin production.

Hormonal changes, particularly elevated estrogen levels, stimulate the darkening of the skin along the linea alba, resulting in the visible line. While the linea nigra may vary in timing and intensity from person to person, it is a harmless and temporary condition that typically fades after childbirth.

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