5 Essential Things You Need To Know About Rainbow Babies

The term rainbow baby refers to a baby born into a family that has previously lost a baby, usually due to stillbirth, miscarriage, early infancy death, etc.

Rainbow babies are considered a symbol of hope because they represent a new beginning for the family, to compensate for their previously lost child and not let them become prisoners of their past.

However, while rainbow babies are a cause for celebration, some families tend to exaggerate their symbolic nature, probably due to some misconception or confirmation bias. But I understand why they feel that way; it’s just overexcitement of hope restored.

But to ensure that everyone doesn’t share a misinterpreted knowledge of what rainbow babies truly represent, this article will explore 5 essential things you need to know about rainbow babies.

What To Know About Rainbow Babies

5 Essential Things You Need To Know About Rainbow Babies
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Rainbow babies refer to babies born into families that have previously lost a child or children due to miscarriages, stillbirths, or other medical issues resulting in pregnancy termination, and early infancy death.

Some people believe rainbow babies are special due to previous circumstances. They also believe the babies are God-sent who lights up a dark path.

The idea behind the name is the rainbow that appears in the sky after a storm or rainfall.

According to research conducted at the University of Michigan, a fact was established that “Most parental relationships have a higher risk of dissolving after a miscarriage or stillbirth, compared to a live birth.”

So, when a child is born after this devastating moment, the parents get so excited, and hence, the new baby is called a “Rainbow Baby” as he/she brings a ray of light, immense joy, and expectation to the family.

The feeling of guilt, along with relief, happiness, and the fear of losing a pregnancy, is felt by most mothers with Rainbow pregnancies.

As a matter of fact, according to a review of studies, it was discovered that “28% of pregnant women experience anxiety.”

Most of this anxiety is coined from the previous loss of a baby.

What To Understand And Do When Expecting A Rainbow Baby

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The possibility of feeling anxious and scared during rainbow pregnancy can’t be ruled out.

Stephanie Hack, MD, a gynaecologist surgeon explained, “After an initial feeling of happiness, some parents might feel nervous while they wait to confirm a healthy pregnancy.”

Here are some things you should understand and do when expecting a rainbow baby;

  1. Mixed feelings
  2. Regular checkups
  3. Firm support
  4. Morning sickness and physical changes
  5. Preparation.

Mixed Feelings

One thing about rainbow pregnancy is that it comes with a rollercoaster of emotions.

One minute, you feel guilty and relieved at the same time. The next minute, there is fear in your eyes of losing yet another one.

Sometimes, you feel perplexed, happy, or gloomy.

Regular Checkups

You once lost a baby, so it is outrightly normal to be tensed and more cautious not to lose another.

Regular checkups are to be expected for the confirmation of the state of your baby’s health.

Certain things should equally be avoided to prevent miscarriages or stillbirths.

Firm Support

A firm support system, maybe a therapy session, an online session like “Pregnancy After Loss Support(PALS),” or a doctor’s appointment, should be set up.

Friends and family should be around so you can always be assured about your and your baby’s safety.

This act will go a long way in helping your mental state of mind.

Morning Sickness And Physical Changes

Normal pregnancy mornings sicknesses like puking, tiredness, and fatigue should be expected.

This is nothing new, as your physical appearance will equally be changing.


You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared.

The baby nursery should also be ready but don’t work yourself too much as you’ll need rest.

Most importantly, avoid overthinking, as this could harm you and your baby. Also note, the expectations and changes mentioned above are completely normal.

How Do I Know I Am Expecting A Rainbow Baby?

When you get pregnant after losing a previous baby for various reasons, the new baby automatically becomes a “Rainbow Baby.”

Rainbow Baby, Sunshine Baby, and Angel Baby

Some persons could interchange the above terms, thinking they all pass the same message.

Each of the terms has different meanings;

Rainbow Baby

Rainbow babies refer to babies born into families that have previously lost a child or children due to miscarriages, stillbirths, or other medical issues resulting in pregnancy termination, and early infancy death.

Sunshine Baby

This term is used to describe a living child born before the loss of another baby. It can be your source of strength during the dark moments, especially as a mother.

Angel Baby

Is a term used for a baby lost due to some factors like miscarriages, early death infancy, and other causes?

The above definition shows the difference between Sunshine Babies, Angel Babies, and Rainbow Babies.

5 Essential Things You Need To Know About Rainbow Babies

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Rainbow Babies are considered special babies that light up a dark path for a family. Some parents tend to treat them with extreme care for fear of losing them, while others might feel guilty for loving them exorbitantly.

  1. Emotions
  2. Healing process
  3. They are normal babies
  4. Challenges
  5. Medical checkups.


Although, rainbow babies are symbols of hope.

The parents are experiencing sparks of mixed emotions.

From guilt feelings, anxiety, and Fear of losing the baby to happiness and relief.

You need to know this about having a rainbow baby, as these signs are completely normal and should be expected.

Healing Process

The pain of losing a child can’t be overemphasized.

The birth of a rainbow baby brings a new beginning to the parents but not a total replacement for a lost child.

“Parents should not be afraid to keep the memories of their lost child as a part of their lives in any memorable and pleasant way,” June says.

The new baby helps the family go through the healing process and grief period. Therefore, rainbow Babies are sometimes referred to as “Miracle Babies.”

They Are Normal Babies

Some persons might consider rainbow babies as babies born with unforeseen supernatural powers.

You should know these babies are normal and just like every other baby born with amazing features.

There is no special feature about them than the usual. Rainbow Babies eat, sleep, play, walk, and poop like normal babies.


Having a rainbow baby can be challenging and yet relieving to a family, especially in the first few months, as they tend to watch them closely and take note of any slight changes.

The family might frequently get reminded about the death of their previous baby, especially when they are not emotionally prepared.

This can equally lead to difficulty balancing their mental state of mind and the new baby.

However, parents with rainbow babies tend to take extreme care of the baby.

Speaking to a mum who recently had a rainbow baby, she said, “It feels bad to admit the fact, that I love my rainbow baby more than my first daughter because of the grief and pain I went through and must equally admit that I take extreme care of him”.

Medical Checkups

During the pregnancy, the mum must keep up with doctor’s appointments so the baby’s health can be closely monitored.

This will prevent the recurrence of another death.

A rainbow baby should be medically cared for to prevent early infancy death.

How To Celebrate The Birth Of A Rainbow Baby

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The birth of a rainbow baby brings a feeling of hope and unspeakable joy to the family.

Most parents wish to celebrate this moment in a grand style, while others may not.

However, different methods of celebrating a rainbow baby depend on the individual’s choices.

  1. Baby shower filled with rainbow colors
  2. Celebrating every first and developmental milestone
  3. Choosing a Unique and perfect baby name for your little one.

Baby Shower Filled With Rainbow Colors

A baby shower is a party held to celebrate the impending birth of a baby.

In most baby showers, the gender of the baby is revealed.

Hosting a rainbow baby shower can be a way for parents to honor the loss of a previous child and yet celebrate the new ray of light.

Most parents love the idea of using rainbow colors such as blue, yellow, and violet to welcome a new baby, and this is a very beautiful celebration.

The rainbow colors signify brightness, happiness, and hope.

Celebrating Every First And Developmental Milestone

The loss of a child is an unimaginable trauma to a family.

Celebrating every first and developmental phase of a rainbow baby could serve as a comforting effect on the family.

Choosing A Unique And Perfect Baby Name For Your Rainbow Baby

Rainbow Babies are considered a God-given gift; hence, parents prefer to choose a unique name for their baby.

Some special names and their meanings that can be used:

  • Iris: This is believed to be the name of the goddess of the rainbow in Greek mythology.
  • Esme: This is an old French  name meaning “beloved.”
  • Asha: It has two meanings;— hope and life.
  • Aveline: This is a French name meaning “Desired.”
  • Nadia: This means “Hope.”
  • Carys: It means “Love.”

National Rainbow Baby’s Day is celebrated on August 22nd annually as a way to commemorate the loss of a child and the birth of a new baby.

How To Support Families Who Have Experienced Infant Loss And Are Expecting A Rainbow Baby

As a friend or family member, there are ways you can support a family going through the experience of child loss and also expecting a rainbow baby. Ways like;


Firstly, recognization is important. You need to recognize the fact that the family lost a child and is recently expecting a rainbow baby. They could be going through mental stress.

Regular checkups like phone and text messages could go a long way.

Word Of Affirmation

Words are powerful.

I know it can be pretty hard to find the right words to use, but they need every bit of affirmation to pull through the trauma.

Words like, “Don’t be scared, you’re going to give birth to a healthy baby” or “look for the rainbow and not the rain”.

This could go a long way.

Set Up A Support System

You could book an online session for them or ensure they don’t miss any doctor’s appointments.

You could equally set up a meeting with other families going through the same situation because most parents find it comforting to speak to someone with a similar problem.

After the birth of the rainbow baby, your physical presence and support will be needed for a period.

Misconceptions About Rainbow Babies

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They Take Away The Pain Of A Lost Child And Acts As A Replacement

As much as most people believe this is true, it isn’t. The memories and pain of a lost child are still on.

A rainbow baby can never replace a dead child.

Smooth Pregnancy For A Rainbow Baby

Some people believe that during the pregnancy period of a rainbow baby, everything goes smoothly with no complications.

This is a clear misconception, as complications, anxiety, and fear could arise. Medical checkups are advised.

You Won’t Love Your Rainbow Baby

It is believed that a rainbow baby brings guilt due to your previous experience, which may hinder your love for your new baby.

This is equally a misconception.

How Often Do People Have Rainbow Babies?

Rainbow Babies are quite common because, according to the American Pregnancy Association, “Statistically, most people who lose a baby due to various reasons will eventually get pregnant again.”


Rainbow Babies are babies born to a family after the loss of a child.

They are often cherished by the parents, although some parents do not like the term “Rainbow baby” to be used on their child as this stands as a constant reminder of their loss.

Parents grieving for a lost child and yet expecting a rainbow baby needs all form of support from loved ones and from

Word of affirmation can go a long way in supporting their mental state of mind.

During pregnancy, mixed feelings like fear and anxiety should be expected, and morning sicknesses like puking are normal.

It should be noted that rainbow babies are just like every normal baby and should be treated as one.

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