Why do I have a brown line down my tummy?

This is called the linea nigra. The linea nigra is dark vertical brown line down the middle of the abdomen. It is common and due to the hormone changes of pregnancy.

As well there can be increased pigmentation of the breast areola (area around the nipples), of the nipples and occasionally on the face (called cloasma).

If you use the oral contraceptive pill for contraception when not pregnant similar pigmentation changes can also happen

 

What can be done?

Nothing. Be reassured the increased pigmentation usually resolves after pregnancy, though this may not be until after you cease breast feeding.

Such pigmentation can sometimes occur when woman takes the combined oral contraceptive pill and occasionally even with hormone replacement therapy and will disappear usually if such hormone treatments are ceased.

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