How Long Will My Linea Nigra Last?

From the moment you saw that positive pregnancy test result, you read endless books and articles about how your body would change over the next nine months and beyond. Though you may not like it, you completely understand why your chest and feet swell up like balloons. But what's the deal with that dark line on your belly that seems to be dividing your baby bump perfectly in half? If you're afraid you may never be able to wear a bikini again, you may be wondering, how long will my linea nigra last?

The dark line or 'linea nigra," is fairly common among pregnant women. According to Fit Pregnancy, nearly 75 percent of women will see the dark line appear down their belly during their pregnancy. Usually making its appearance sometime during the second trimester, the 1/4 to 1/2 inch-wide line typically runs from the pubic bone to the belly button.

But what you may not have known about the line that can cause some pregnant women so much anxiety is that it is often on your belly before you even think about taking a pregnancy test. According to the American Pregnancy Association, prior to pregnancy, the line is white and referred to as the linea alba. Because it is so light, it often goes unnoticed. As your pregnancy develops, the line darkens. It is believed that the darkening is the result of the same hormones that cause your nipples and labia to darken, as Babble mentioned.

Though not all moms will notice a linea nigra, there isn't much you can do to prevent it from showing up. And like those pesky stretch marks some moms-to-be have to contend with, the linea nigra never completely disappears, according to Baby Center. Over the course of a year postpartum, the line will continue to fade. And while you may not like the way the line makes you look in your favorite bathing suit, it's best to let it fade on its own. As Fit Pregnancy mentioned, using bleaching creams can be dangerous for women who are pregnant or nursing.It may not completely disappear, you can consider it yet another badge of honor when you join the mom's club. Just make sure you show it to your children and your partner when it gets close to Mother's Day.