What causes Linea Nigra? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-11-2004, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know it's nothing to be concerned about and it's hormonal in nature, but does anybody know the reason it appears? Is it an indicator for anything?

Thanks,
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#2 of 12 Old 02-11-2004, 10:10 PM
 
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I have no idea the purpose for this, but I know it's blamed on estrogen. Perhaps there is different pigmentation there because of the way the abdominal walls are?
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#3 of 12 Old 02-11-2004, 10:42 PM
 
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Pregnancy causes it. :LOL (sorry, couldn't resist)
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#4 of 12 Old 02-11-2004, 11:09 PM
 
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from Active Birth Center:

"Pigmentation changes are common in pregnancy due to hormones.

These may include darkening of the nipples and surrounding skin. A dark line called the 'linea negra' may appear down the centre of the abdomen around the third month. Birthmarks, moles and freckles may temporarily darken or increase in number or size.

Occasionally the face may darken giving the impression of a sun tan, especially around the mouth. This is called chloasma or the 'mask of pregnancy.' Pigment changes usually disappear after pregnancy."

from reading a few more web sites, it doesn't appear to be linked to anything in particular. light-skinned women are less likely to have it develop; some darker women will have it stay even after the baby is born.

thinking along the lines of evolutionary biology, i wonder if it was some sort of way to increase ability to camoflauge ourselves during a vulnerable period? however, talking to my population biologist hubby, he says that it's more likely a response to the hormones, rather than a survival trait or something else... more of a side effect than a cause.

i guess it's just one of those funky pregnancy things!

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#5 of 12 Old 02-12-2004, 01:57 AM
 
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I've never had one! But I also was not blessed with stretchmarks, so I'll take it I guess!
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#6 of 12 Old 02-12-2004, 11:54 AM
 
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Katje, I thought lighter-skinned women were more likely to get it? (Thought I read that somewhere?) : In any case, I've got very fair skin, and I get a very noticeable LN that takes forever to fade. I also have to be very careful about wearing sunscreen on my face, or I get a ton a freckles during pg (does anyone else get a spotted "mask" like me?).
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#7 of 12 Old 02-12-2004, 03:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by KKmama
Katje, I thought lighter-skinned women were more likely to get it?
well, i couldn't find any specific studies or statistics, just generalizations. perhaps it's the lighter-skinned gals where it shows up more, and when it does, it's more noticeable?

k
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#8 of 12 Old 02-12-2004, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
perhaps it's the lighter-skinned gals where it shows up more, and when it does, it's more noticeable?
That's probably it. My freckle-mask and dark nipples fade at around the same rate as the line, too...
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#9 of 12 Old 02-12-2004, 05:28 PM
 
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I was so grossed out a few months PP when my linea negra started flaking off.
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#10 of 12 Old 02-13-2004, 02:31 PM
 
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I also read that light-skinned women were more likely to develop cholasma.. i looked like a racoon from my second trimester on with Eli. The only thing that kept it from getting worse was remembering my sunscreen.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#11 of 12 Old 02-13-2004, 04:21 PM
 
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We had heard from our Bradley Instructors that it was caused by lack of protein in the diet. The instructors have all us woman in the class keeping track and making sure that we eat an average of 100mg of protein a day...

I had never heard this before and when I've mentioned it to others recently they hadn't heard it either... So I'm not sure... I don't have the line yet (at 25 weeks), and I do have light colored skin, but I guess I could still get it... *shoulder shrug*

Jennifer
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Jennifer, mama to Zander (04), Maddie (07) & Lizzie (10/09)
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#12 of 12 Old 02-13-2004, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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kidatheart,

Thanks for your post. That was the info. I was looking for. I was curious what the underlying source of it is. I am 34 weeks and I just started to get a very faint line under my belly button, but it's barely visable....but it sparked my curiousity. I just started eating more protien last week on the advice of my midwife because I don't like to eat meat or dairy products and am allergic to most nuts. So I'll have to watch and see if the protien affects it at all.

Thanks again for the info.

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