What Is a Rainbow Baby?

Rainbows have always been a sign of hope and promise. They appear after a storm, and their beautiful colors show that even after a dark and rainy day, there’s still sunshine. 

You may have heard the term rainbow baby recently. Or maybe you’ve been told you’re expecting a rainbow baby of your own, but you aren’t quite sure what this term totally means.

At Mommy Care Kit, we know that every new baby is a little miracle who deserves the best care and attention that we, as parents, can give. However, rainbow babies are miracles in a different sense of the word. 

When a family loses a child, or an angel baby, the ensuing range of emotions and feelings are like a storm. However, after the storm of pregnancy loss, sometimes there comes hope for another. Then, they have another little one — the rainbow baby.

What is a rainbow baby, and why do these new family members have such hopeful and joyful titles? Let’s find out.

What Is A Rainbow Baby?

When parents tell you that their baby is a rainbow baby, they mean that their little one is coming after a struggle to have a baby or even the loss of a child. This generally applies after situations like infant loss, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, or miscarriage.

There are various reasons why these things may occur. The loss of a pregnancy or a baby is traumatic, and parents can have a difficult time processing the mixed emotions. They need lots of support and love. However, many parents do not stop hoping that they will one day be able to care for a healthy baby and raise them.

After experiencing the loss of an angel baby, things can seem dark and hopeless, which is why rainbow babies are given their title. It’s the hope that arises out of loss, and it’s a beautiful thing.

A beautiful rainbow is used to signify healing and gaining the ability to experience the special and magical moments of parenthood, like helping your little one learn to walk or tie their shoes. 

Emotional Support 

Rainbow babies can lead to conflicting emotions. Memories of loss from a previous pregnancy and excitement for the future can be difficult to process at the same time, so it’s important to seek help and support so that you don’t become overwhelmed by all the different things you’re feeling.

There are many baby loss support groups for parents who have lost children — both in-person and through social media. It may be helpful to join one specifically oriented to parents of rainbow babies. Humans thrive in communities, and people who have similar experiences can understand what you are going through better than those who don’t.

Rainbow babies are a complex topic since they come with complex emotions. When you have a rainbow baby, it doesn’t mean that your angel babies are any less beloved or that it negates the feelings that you felt before. It just means that there’s someone new to love and care for.

Rainbow Babies and Infertility 

A rainbow baby may be conceived naturally or through the help of a scientific process. Many couples who experience infertility may try either intrauterine fertilization (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), or both.

Intrauterine fertilization occurs when sperm is placed directly into the uterus. In vitro fertilization requires eggs to be removed and fertilized in a tray. The fertilized eggs are then returned to the uterus in the hopes that one will attach to the uterine wall.

These processes can be stressful since it requires many hormone treatments, and it may take more than one round to work. However, once that beautiful baby comes, it makes all the stress worth it.

Rainbow Pregnancy

Leading up to the due date of your rainbow baby, you and your baby will be experiencing a rainbow pregnancy. This new pregnancy may not be easy, but there is a baby that can make up for it.

After a loss, carrying another child can be difficult. There are many conflicting emotions of excitement, love, loss, and sometimes even feelings of guilt. It’s important for both parents to find a way to process that information, which is why it’s a good idea to find a therapist and support group.

Usually, a woman’s body needs time to heal after pregnancy and birth. However, once you are healed and have talked with your doctor about it, you could be ready to try again.

National Rainbow Baby Day: What’s It About?

Just as there are days to celebrate mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, and grandparents, there is also a day set aside to celebrate rainbow babies and their parents. National Rainbow Baby Day is intended to be a time for parents to share their stories of loss and of hope.

Although this day is to celebrate the rainbow baby, it’s also supposed to help parents celebrate their other little ones who were lost along the way. The path to having a rainbow baby is not an easy one, so the day is both joyful and bittersweet.

National Rainbow Baby Day can be a great time for parents of angel and rainbow babies to come together, share with each other, and support one another. It’s a day for celebration and remembering. It can also be a way to form friendships with those who have been through similar things.

When Is It?

National Rainbow Baby Day falls on August 22. It’s a yearly celebration, so if you have a rainbow baby, you can celebrate this year if you’re up for it. It could also be a good time to share your story of hope.

However, it’s not necessary that you share your story. Some parents prefer to keep things between themselves and those they know, love, and trust, and that’s also okay. There are many ways that you can celebrate on August 22. It’s just a matter of finding a way that suits you.

Balance Celebrating and Remembering

It may seem odd to celebrate the life of a rainbow baby while remembering those who did not make it, but this duality of celebrating and remembering exemplifies the complex emotions and thoughts that come with having a rainbow baby. 

For some parents, it may be helpful to find ways to commemorate their other children while still celebrating their rainbow baby.

You can do things like:

  • Planting a tree for your baby
  • Collecting items from your baby’s life, like footprints or pictures
  • Making a scrapbook with memories
  • Grieving with your partner
  • Talking with a therapist and/or support group

You can also celebrate your rainbow baby by:

  • Sharing your story
  • Hosting a celebration
  • Spend time with your baby and your partner
  • Do something you love with your family, like having a picnic

Some people may find staying at home and having a quiet day with their partner and baby is a great way to celebrate. Other parents may feel restless at home and need to get out and spend time showing their little ones the great outdoors.

Others may feel more comfortable and happy inviting their extended family or friends over to celebrate and remember. People can share food, stories, and memories and fawn over the newest little addition.

However, when you celebrate National Rainbow Baby day, know that there are people who are out there who support you and understand the things you’ve gone through to get to this point in life.


Adorable Little Miracles

Every baby is special in their own way, but rainbow babies are a symbol of the hopes and dreams of parents who have lost their little ones before. With all the conflicting emotions, it can also be difficult to know if you should feel one over another.

With the joyful prospect of a rainbow baby, it may seem like you need to feel happy all of the time, but it’s also good to remember your angel babies.

Our love for our children is unlimited, and there’s always room for one more. The long journey that parents take on their way to having a rainbow baby is difficult and emotional — but it’s also rewarding.

To support both your physical and mental health, you might want to seek out meaningful friendships, invest in pregnancy items that support comfort, and talk to your healthcare providers at every step of the journey. If you’re looking for information on baby growth, pregnancy, or other pregnancy-related topics, check out our Mommy Care Kit blog.


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