Last week a couple from Arizona shared a unique photograph of their Rainbow Baby. The picture has gone viral and is helping create awareness around the difficulties some mothers suffer. After several years of IVF and 3 miscarriages they were finally blessed with their little girl. They wanted a picture that would reflect the journey they went through to have their beautiful baby.
But what is a Rainbow Baby and why do they evoke a special kind of love?
First A Storm
The love a mother feels for her baby is one of a kind. She carries her child for approximately 9 months. During this time the baby eats what she eats, feels what she feels and breathes what she breathes. Her baby will react to her voice and communicate with her through kicks and wriggles. She will patiently wait to meet the little person inside her.
But what happens if this baby doesn’t survive the pregnancy? If he / she is stillborn at the end of the 9-month journey? Or dies shortly after coming into the world? Will this mother ever overcome her pain and fall pregnant again?
If she does have a successful pregnancy after a loss, her newborn will be a Rainbow Baby. The love a mother feels for her Rainbow Baby is special. In many cases this baby will awaken a number of mixed feelings, form grief for her angel baby to joy for her little miracle passing through fear, excitement and doubts.
Then A Rainbow
The term Rainbow Baby is given to a baby that is born after the loss of a previous baby. This loss can be due to a miscarriage, stillbirth or death in infancy. The Lullaby Trust informs that 240 babies and toddlers die every year of SIDS in the UK. The NHS explains 1 in 8 women that know they are pregnant will suffer a miscarriage.
A Rainbow is formed when the sun shines after it has rained. A baby that arrives after a loss is like the sun shining after the storm. Rainbow Babies are a sign of hope and happiness after a difficult time in a mother’s life.
Help and Support
Every year Baby Loss Awareness Week is held from the 9th to the 15th of October. During this week a number of charities work together to raise awareness about this issue.
Rainbow Baby mothers can find themselves feeling anxious and worried even after delivering a perfectly healthy baby. The fear of loosing another baby can cloud the joy their newborn brings. These feelings are normal and should fade with time.
The new baby does not erase the pain of the previous loss. Being able to talk to other mothers that have gone through the same pain can help. Raising awareness is important so mothers are not afraid to seek help if they need it.