Love your postpartum body: My beautiful linea nigra

How I loved my linea nigra and postpartum body. New moms, find a positive body image! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

New mothers find plenty of things to dislike about their bodies after delivery: lopsided boobs, stretch marks, a perma-pooch. Tabloids in the check out aisle highlight celebrities who managed to LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT IN 5 WEEKS! (and shame the women who take longer—not that it’s anyone’s business). Despite these changes, I managed to love my postpartum body and find a positive body image—by appreciating my linea nigra.

Body changes through pregnancy

We undergo enormous changes in the 40 weeks it takes to, you know, create an entire human being from scratch. Coming to terms with a body that looks and feels drastically different overnight can be a difficult task.

I have loved one change since the first time I noticed it, though: the linea nigra.

Our Squishface, 2 days old, takes a nap on her mama's belly.
Our Squishface, 2 days old, takes a nap on her mama’s belly.

The dark vertical line showed up on my belly sometime in my second trimester. It stretched from my belly button on down.

My postpartum body: my linea nigra

One night a few days after Peeper was born, I was soaking in the bath when I considered it anew. I was no longer pregnant, but I still bore the mark of pregnancy. My whole belly was soft and looked nothing like it ever had. But here was a line that marked me as a mother.

That night as I lay in the tub, I considered getting a tattoo over the linea nigra so it would never disappear. (Yes, I was slightly delirious.) I never wanted it to disappear.

My daughter is almost 9 months old now. She’s been in the world nearly as long as she grew in me. And that beautiful line has faded, though I can still see it—barely.

The only postpartum body constant is change

Its disappearance is just one more physical change I’ll come to accept and appreciate. My body is wondrous. It held and nurtured my daughter for more than 40 weeks then endured the most excruciating ordeal imaginable to bring her into my and my husband’s waiting embrace. And it continues to transform as Peeper gets older.

As the linea nigra fades away, I’ll remember it as fondly as I do the feeling of my daughter kicking and twisting inside me. I’ll remember how it didn’t plunge straight down but meandered to the right, like a river. And I’ll remember how it was an outward sign that I held my daughter on the inside before I held her in my arms.

This post is a part of a Love Your Body Link-up, hosted by the rockin’ ladies at Tossing the Script and Jaybird. You can read other bloggers who wrote under the theme here.


PS – If you liked this post, check out my post about realizing my linea nigra is gone.

0 thoughts on “Love your postpartum body: My beautiful linea nigra

  • March 31, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing the little things that appear (and disappear) on a body and how they tell a story of wonder and celebration!

    • March 31, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Our bodies do tell quite the story, though the language is in scars, marks and overall shape.

  • March 31, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    This is such a cool post! I am forever in awe of mothers. There’s no better demonstration of the fortitude of the human body than its ability to create and nurture another person. I love that you have embraced this memory and mark on your body as part of your connection to your child!

    • March 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Thank you! I know that my daughter and I are forever connected in a way that can’t be erased, but it is nice to have a visual reminder of that, too—as long as it lasts.

  • March 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    What a really lovely post. I think that even though the linea nigra totally disappears you will always see it when you look at your tummy and your child.

  • April 1, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Oh, Catherine! I love it how you consistently and constantly surprise and delight me. Thank you for sharing this – and you – and of course Peeper. I appreciate your thoughts that your linea nigra looked like a river, especially given your attachment to waterways. Keep your sunnyside up! xoxoxo

  • April 1, 2014 at 7:13 am

    What a touching and informative post. I actually had no idea what the linea nigra was before I read this.

    • April 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

      There is so much about pregnancy and motherhood that’s a need to know basis – haha!


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