Estrogen and progesterone stimulate the pigment-producing skin cells to make more melanin. But they don’t make it uniformly. You may notice skin darkening on your body in a number of places, including: around the navel, or belly button.
If you’re pregnant, you know that rubbing your belly simply makes you feel good no matter the reason. (And during pregnancy, things that feel good are always a huge bonus.) Now, a new study confirms that fetuses respond powerfully to belly touches, which may suggest that it makes them feel good, too!
It’s likely caused by shifts in hormones. The increase in hormones causes melanin-producing cells in the skin to produce more pigment. Because the linea alba is always present (it’s just too light to be seen), the increased pigment makes the line very obvious. For most people, the line will disappear on its own.
Babies who have an omphalocele, on the other hand, truly are born without a belly button. The intestines or other abdominal organs protrude through a hole in the middle of the baby’s abdomen, right where the belly button would be.
Can I hurt my baby by pressing on my stomach?
Not much can beat the feeling of a toddler running to you for a big hug. And, for most patients, the force of a 20- to 40-pound child bumping your belly is not enough to harm the baby.
When does your stomach start getting hard?
During the early stages of pregnancy, around 7 or 8 weeks, the growth of the uterus and the development of the baby, turn the the belly harder.
Some have no belly button as a result of the surgery needed to correct abdominal problems at birth, often either an umbilical hernia, or a condition known as gastroschisis – born with the stomach and intestines poking through a hole in the abdominal wall.
Playing with the navel is even less of an issue than self-stimulating the genitals. It is impossible to stop a baby from self stimulating the parts of the body, and it is wrong to do so. Since it is part of normal development, parents have to accept this.