Rainbow Baby: Meaning & Creative Ways To Announce Their Arrival

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“It’s when a rainbow smiles that sadness is banished from the land.” Anthony T. Hincks
A baby born soon after you have lost a dear soul to miscarriage, stillbirth, or an incidence of perinatal mortality (neonatal death) is called a rainbow baby. A rainbow baby commemorates hope and brings light and joy in the life of parents after the heart-wrenching sadness the loss of a baby caused.

The term is synonymous with the rainbow that shines bright after heavy rain or storm. However, having a baby after a pregnancy loss can also be emotionally overwhelming. Hence, a mother bearing and caring for a rainbow baby needs constant support from people around them.

Read this post to know more about rainbow babies, the creative ways to announce their arrival, and tips on supporting mothers during pregnancy.

In This Article

What Is A Rainbow Baby?

The babies that are born shortly after a miscarriage or a stillbirth are referred to as Rainbow babies. Just like the rainbow is a sign of happiness that emerges from the darkness, so is the baby that is born after a pregnancy loss.

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Rainbow babies are often also referred to as miracle babies as their birth helps parents heal from previous loss.

What Is So Special About A Rainbow Baby?

Rainbow baby may bring a ray of hope

Image: IStock

A mother who has gone through the grief of a pregnancy loss can only reckon the emotions of having a baby. The baby that has passed away will always be a devastating loss for the parents. But, the arrival of a rainbow baby will bring a ray of hope and joy that you had for your lost child.

How To Support A Woman During Rainbow Pregnancy?

Here are some tips that family and friends can follow to comfort her:

  • Encourage her to embrace a fresh start in her journey of motherhood, which can aid in the process of healing her wounds.
  • Make her understand that the previous experience need not recur and this time it is going to be good.
  • Help her connect with online forums or communities of mothers with rainbow babies.

Having the unwavering support and love from her family and friends can be a blessing and will make it easier for a mother to navigate through her pregnancy and ultimately give birth to a beautiful rainbow baby.

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If you are expecting a baby after a pregnancy loss, prioritize your emotional and mental health and indulge in activities you enjoy or find relaxing (3).

Creative Ways To Announce A Rainbow Baby’s Arrival

Here are a few bright ideas to announce the arrival of your rainbow baby:

  • Printing beautiful announcement cards and send them to your friends and family.
  • Get a rainbow-colored handprint on your belly.
  • Involve your older kids to decorate the news on colorful balloons.
  • Take a picture of the baby bump by wearing a rainbow-colored dress and send it across to your friends and family.
  • Make a chalkboard announcement by drawing a rainbow, with tiny shoes next to it. Or just write the news on the chalkboard with different colored chalks.

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You and your partner can paint your hands with rainbow colors and put them together to create a heart on a white t-shirt.

How’s The Experience Of Bringing A Rainbow Baby Home?

You will experience mixed emotions with a rainbow baby

Image: IStock

The emotions you might experience when bringing home a rainbow baby can be overwhelming and filled with wonder and awe. Along with a little bit of sadness, you will also feel an overwhelming sense of joy, faith, and happiness that can leave you feeling truly grateful and amazed.

  • Watching your baby sleeping might trigger some feelings of your pregnancy loss. It might remind you of the baby who never opened their eyes. The clothes that you bought can also trigger some painful feelings.
  • As you feel love for your rainbow baby, you may also feel guilty, as if you are betraying the baby you have lost. You may think that being happy could make you forget the baby that is gone.
  • The elation of leaving the hospital with your rainbow baby is unexplainable. The day your baby arrives, your memories of the lost baby may get obliterated by peacefulness to some extent.
  • It might take some time for you to deal with the emotions, fears, and anxiety after bringing home the new baby. Family support or anxiety medications and therapies under the supervision of your doctor can help you get through this challenging phase with optimism.
  • You may feel overprotective and be hesitant to let other people hold your baby, for fear of losing it again.
  • You might look for your lost child in the new baby.
  • Some women might undergo depression and anxiety during the postpartum period. In such a case, you must see a doctor and take medications if necessary.
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Eating too much or too less, feeling hopeless, moody, and not wanting to be with friends and family are a few signs that may indicate depression in the postpartum period (4).
Some mothers undergo depression

Image: IStock

In spite of all the emotions and experiences, you can still celebrate the arrival of your rainbow baby:

  • The best way to celebrate the arrival of your baby is to capture some intimate moments. Create an album that you can cherish for a lifetime.
  • Join the communities of like-mothers who have had similar experiences. By sharing your stories, you can discover a sense of peace and serenity in one another.

Difference Between A Rainbow Baby And A Sunshine Baby

A rainbow baby is born after a pregnancy loss

Image: IStock

Rainbow babies and sunshine babies are among the many words that have been coined under the parenting vocabulary. While a rainbow baby is born after a pregnancy loss, a sunshine baby is one that is born before the pregnancy loss.

With a sunshine baby, you may not experience the grief that you do with a rainbow baby, nor do you fear that something might go wrong with it, although you may have the usual anxieties about the child’s well-being. A sunshine baby doesn’t become one until after the mother has experienced a pregnancy loss.

That said, parenting a sunshine or rainbow baby may have the same challenges and requires the same amount of hard work.

For Your Information

Here are some more terms in the parenting vocabulary.

  • The baby that is lost is called an angel baby.
  • The baby born following the rainbow baby is called a golden baby or a Pot of Gold.
  • In case of twin or multiples, the babies are called shooting stars.
  • In the case where one twin is lost and the other survives, the lost twin is called sunset baby or guardian angel and the surviving twin is called the sunrise baby.

Rainbow babies are not uncommon. Next we share stories of parents who’ve had a healthy baby after pregnancy loss.

Stories of Rainbow Babies To Share With You

Rainbow baby

Image: IStock

Here are a few we picked for you:

  1. Rebecca and her husband Warren, a couple from Denbighshire, Wales, had to go through eight devastating miscarriages. It almost made Rebecca lose her hope of holding a baby in her arms. But, with her husband’s support and motivation, as well as the medications, they were blessed with their rainbow baby Aiden Williams.
  1. Sienna Bryan is a rainbow baby born to Leanne and Alan on March 17, 2017. The couple lost their first baby when Leanne was six months pregnant. Accepting the fact that they have lost their daughter was not easy.

After about eight months, they started planning for the next baby and Leanne conceived seven months later. The arrival of Sienna was an exhilarating moment for them. But this has not overshadowed the memories of Isabelle (the couple’s first child). Leanne still wears a silver pendant with glass that holds the ashes of Isabelle, reminding her of her daughter’s eternal presence.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a double rainbow baby?

A baby born after two subsequent pregnancy losses is termed a double rainbow baby.

2. Can I have two rainbow babies?

It is possible to have two or twin rainbow babies, although it tends to be rare (1).

3. When is National Rainbow Baby Day?

National Rainbow Baby Day falls on the 22nd of August every year (2).

4. Is every baby after a miscarriage a rainbow baby?

A healthy baby born after a miscarriage or stillbirth is termed a rainbow baby. The baby born after a rainbow baby is termed a golden baby or pot of gold. This baby signifies the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow as the parents now have two babies.

5. How possible is it to have a rainbow baby?

It is possible to have a rainbow baby after experiencing a loss, but it may depend on various factors such as the cause of the pregnancy loss, the parents’ age, and overall health. According to studies, just one percent of women experience multiple miscarriages. After one miscarriage, there is still a 20 percent projected chance of miscarriage during the following pregnancy (3).

6. What is a rainbow baby shower?

The term “rainbow” symbolizes hope after a difficult time. So, a rainbow baby shower is a celebration when a family is expecting a baby’s arrival after they have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death in the previous pregnancy. Unlike the usual baby shower, a rainbow baby shower is typically more intimate, less public, and more emotional.

Therefore, in simple terms, a rainbow baby is a healthy baby that takes birth post a miscarriage. It represents the phenomenon of bringing color, beauty, and promise to the parent’s life after a rough patch, and symbolizes the process of healing and renewal. It is a new beginning for many parents who consider it a miracle and feel overwhelming gratitude for the arrival of a rainbow baby. It is this special quality that makes rainbow babies truly remarkable and cherished.

Infographic: Creative Approaches For Announcing A Rainbow Pregnancy

Having a baby after a pregnancy loss is an emotional and exciting experience for the mother and the family. So, make sure your announcement of your baby’s arrival is unique and creative. Explore the infographic below to learn some creative ideas for rainbow pregnancy announcements.

 adorable ways to announce your rainbow pregnancy to your loved ones (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or an incidence of perinatal mortality.
  • It is vital to give a woman who is expecting a rainbow baby all the love and support she needs as soon as she conceives.
  • After the baby is born, giving them a warm welcome and using creative ideas to announce their arrival to family and friends can also be a nice touch.
  • Sometimes, the arrival of a rainbow baby may bring back memories of the previous loss.
  • It is crucial for the mother to surround herself with loved ones and seek medical help if necessary.
rainbow baby_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Twin Rainbow Babies Beat the Odds.
  2. Rainbow Baby Day 2021.
  3. Pregnancy after miscarriage: What you need to know.
  4. Can Women Suffer from Postpartum Depression After Miscarriage?
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