What is a Rainbow Baby?!

The term, “Rainbow Baby” is becoming more and more popular, but many people still do not know what it means. A Rainbow Baby is a term for a baby that is born subsequent to a miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of an infant from natural causes. But how did the term “Rainbow” come to describe this? Simply because after the storm, comes a rainbow. With blogs and social media over the recent years, the term has grown in popularity and has come to symbolize the power of hope and healing for many women today.

According to the March of Dimes, a miscarriage occurs when the loss of a baby takes place prior to 20 weeks gestation in the womb, approximately 10-15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Though less common, 1-5% of women experience a miscarriage in the second trimester.

Each year, approximately 24,000 babies are stillborn, or ‘born sleeping’ in the United States.

So what exactly do these statistics mean? To many, the statistic is just another number. But to those who have experienced the ‘unspeakable’, it’ is the loss of their child. Many women often miscarry early in their first trimester and are left to wonder what gender their angel was, if they would have had a head full of hair, or if they would have looked like their brother or sister, and so on.

Many women often go onto have healthy pregnancies but not with reservation, often wondering, “Will I miscarry again?” Or without feeling sad as they continue to grieve the loss of their prior angel baby or feeling guilty because they are happy about their new pregnancy, but yearn for the previous pregnancy.

So what should we, as a community of women do to help? It’s simple. We need to open up and talk and support each other.  We need to stop hiding our pregnancies early on as we are told by medical doctors or friends and family so that if we miscarry, we no longer have to live in silence and can talk about the ‘unspeakable’.  

We need to openly mourn our losses and celebrate our rainbow after the storm…