Hairy belly in pregnancy
It's a common body change - and will usually disappear after your baby is born. But why does it happen, how can you safely remove it and what hairy tales have our mums got
Yes, a hairy belly is common in pregnancy - you may even sprout dark hair when you have fair hair yourself. Fuzziness and hairiness on your bump can often make an appearance in your second trimester, along with a neat dark line that stems from your belly button, called the linea nigra. It might be a momentary shocker, but there's no need to be alarmed - and it should disappear soon after your baby's arrived.
Still, if you're not expecting it... "Oh my God," exclaims forum user Faith 85-56158. "I was just sitting on my computer and could feel proper little kicks from my baby, so I lifted my top up to have a look and my belly has got really hairy!! It's not even a line down the middle it's all over!? I don't remember getting this with my first pregnancy."
"Hell yeah, hairy bellies rule lol. I have the hairiest stomach in the whole world. It got that bad that I sat and cut it with scissors (much to my husband's amusement)," adds CBB.
So why do some of us sprout a hairy belly when pregnant?
But of course, what else, but those cheeky preg hormones. OK, interesting fact coming up. "Hairs on our body are usually in one of two phases; either growing and then falling out, or resting," explains mum-of-two and women's health expert, Dr Catherine Hood.
"At any time, about 90% of our hair is growing and only 10% resting. During pregnancy, however, increased hormone levels push more hairs into the resting phase.
"This means fewer hairs are falling out and so you appear to have thicker hair. This excess hair is usually welcome on your head but less so, when other areas of your body become more hirsute."
Where do you get the belly hair?
Our mums found it could either be all over your belly, while others found it centred around the dark line you can develop during pregnancy - called the linea nigra.
"It's kinda a line from my belly button (which is beginning to get smaller) then spreads out from there!" says Hayley_JC.
"I have a lot of hair on my belly too but only where the 'happy trail' is, says purpleflamingos. It's really thick.Then again, I'm having to shave my legs and underarms daily. Wish the hair on my head grew as fast"
Now the fuzz on the belly of Faith 85-56518 got so long, she gave her bump a comb-over. "I just had a bath and it looked even worse in there! And when I got out and dried my belly, it looked really funny cos all the hairs went flat. It looked like a bald man's head who has combed some hair over, lol."
Can you remove/bleach this preg hair? If so, what's the safest way?
The good news is that this excess hair is very likely to fall out after you've given birth, usually within 6 months. But that's a long time to wait for some - we're feeling those hairs, Faith.
"I have a hairy belly and have even started plucking them out by my belly button," confesses hollysmumbump.
"I pluck out the big ones (mine are thick and dark), but leave the fuzzy ones! I figure the midwife has definitely seen worse things!" says BR2B.
Hayleyspirit regrets resorting to shaving. "I have a hairy belly too. It's quite lightish but I can really see them when I'm in the bath. It's horrible and I've shaved it twice! But I wish I hadn't, as it's worse then ever! My own fault."
Karen130770 agrees. "My hair is blonde but it stands out on end like it's got permanent static - it's very off-putting, But whatever you do - DON'T SHAVE IT! Not a good look when it grows back."
Does a hairy belly mean you're having a boy?
This is a common old wives' tale - hairy belly means you're carrying a boy. So what did our mums find?
"My belly got hairy in my first pregnancy and then went back to normal after birth. I had a boy. It's got hairy this time round too. I'm having a boy this time too," says Lauly.
"Glad to know I'm not the only one with a hairy bump!" says Hayley_JC. "We already know we're having a boy so that wives' tale is true on our part."
Two thumbs up for the old wives, but wait, what's this...
"I had a really hairy tummy - I looked like a chimp! I was tempted to shave it but thought better of it," says says hushpuppy before adding, "I had a baby girl!" .
"I have a hairy belly. Everybody seems to be saying it's a sign of a boy but I am having a baby girl.I also got hairy in my last pregnancy which was a girl!" says hollysmumbump.
Looking a bit 50:50. We'd say, enjoy your new hair, especially if you can give it a comb-over, and wait to see...