Five Things You Should Know About Rainbow Babies
1. What is a Rainbow Baby?
A rainbow baby is a baby born after the loss of a previous baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or death in infancy. This term is given to these precious babies, because a rainbow typically follows a storm, giving us hope of what’s to come.
2. Who coined the term, Rainbow Baby?
While no one knows the exact origin of Rainbow Baby, it is a term that has become very popular on social media and blogs in recent years. As mentioned earlier, the name “rainbow baby” comes from the idea of a rainbow appearing in the sky after a storm, or after a dark and turbulent time.
3. What is the difference between a Rainbow and a Sunshine Baby?
Sunshine babies are the babies that were born before the loss — because they can provide happiness and light during an otherwise dark and difficult time. On the other hand, rainbow babies can put parents in a different frame of mind, as they represent the happiness a living child brings to a family after such a terrible loss. One mother once shared with me that a rainbow baby can sometimes feel like successfully crossing the finish line after running the longest road race one can ever imagine.
4. What are some emotions people feel after the loss of a baby?
Women who have experienced miscarriage or infant loss are at an increased risk for postpartum depression and anxiety. They can seek professional one on one help, however many parents feel support groups with families dealing with a similar loss to be extremely helpful during this time of grief. While it might feel impossible to ever fully recover emotionally from the pain and grief of losing a child, please know you are not alone and there are many amazing resources available to help both locally and nationally.
5. What should I expect if I am pregnant with a rainbow baby?
If you are pregnant with a rainbow baby, you will probably experience a lot of different emotions. Many women will have fear and anxiety during their pregnancies after a loss and worry that they will have another loss, or that something may be wrong with the baby.
Talking with a doctor who knows your history and asking for certain accommodations, such as working with an ultrasound tech who will be sensitive to your fears, can be helpful. Many doctors and hospitals and training programs are now making an extra effort to be sensitive to the unique needs and experiences of a woman going through pregnancy after loss and there are accommodations that can be made to help you through it in the most supportive way possible. One typical request is to be seen by the doctor more frequently during this rainbow pregnancy, sometimes even weekly or bi weekly. An extreme point of anxiety and intense emotion comes for the mother in the weeks leading up to the week of the pregnancy of the previous loss. Dads and other family members need to be respectful of how the gestational week the previous loss came in will be forever difficult in future pregnancies.
About Walk In Sunshine
Walk In Sunshine is a charity that focuses on online resources for families who have lost a child. We plan to continue to post articles addressing all types of child loss. We will also donate $1,000 to the final arrangements of any child loss in Union County from 20 weeks gestation until the child turns 18.
Our website is www.walkinsunshinecharity.org