What Is a Rainbow Baby?
The term rainbow baby has been floating around the web since about 2008. Most people first came across it on social media or pregnancy forums, but outside of the parenting world, it's relatively unknown.
The term rainbow baby describes a child born after a miscarriage or stillbirth. Parents use it to celebrate the life of long-awaited baby, while honoring the child who they never got to meet. It's bittersweet, but deeply beautiful.
Miscarriage Is Much More Common Than People Realize
Pregnancy loss is heartbreaking, yet unbelievably common. The stats say it all:
- As many as 50-75 percent of pregnancies end before a woman even knows she's pregnant.
- 10-15 percent of all confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage.
- 23 million miscarriages happen worldwide every year.
- Most miscarriages happen during the first trimester, but for about 5 percent of women, it happens during the second trimester.
- After 20 weeks, a miscarriage is considered a stillbirth. As many as 1 in 160 babies are stillborn. This is about 10 times the number of deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, aka SIDS.
Rainbow Babies Often Come After a Long Wait
As hard as it is to lose a pregnancy, the outlook for future pregnancies is overwhelmingly positive.
The likelihood of recurrent miscarriage is only about 5 percent, and only 1 percent of women experience three or more. Even though 26 percent of women have difficulty conceiving or carrying a child to term, the majority of those who experience a miscarriage go on to have a healthy pregnancy.
An accurate diagnosis is a key component to carrying a child to term after miscarriage, and most women succeed with the right care. And an abundance of faith, support and persistence.
Support After Pregnancy Loss Is Important
In the age of our mothers and grandmothers, discussing miscarriage was taboo. They dealt with the loss alone. Fortunately, the mothers of today don't have to.
Women have banded together in online support groups to share their stories of loss and love, as well as to celebrate their victory when their rainbow baby finally arrives.
Mental health professionals have also come to understand the necessity of grieving a pregnancy loss, and resources are available for those who need them:
You can find more places to seek support here.
When a Rainbow Baby Does Come, It's All the More Beautiful
The wave of emotions women experience can be complicated and overwhelming. The birth of a child doesn't erase the loss of another, and it's common and normal to experience mixed feelings.
For the most part, however, welcoming a child after fertility challenges and loss is joyous on a whole different level. Parents have celebrated the birth of their rainbow babies in a multitude of ways, from moving photoshoots to sweet, rainbow-themed treats.
Meaningful Names for a Rainbow Baby
When parents finally bring home a happy, healthy baby, it's only fitting that they select a meaningful name to capture the depth of their gratitude and joy.
Any name that holds meaning will do, but these 40 names are particularly fitting for rainbow babies.
20 Rainbow Baby Names for Boys
- Anthony — "Priceless"
- Arman — "Wish"
- Asher — "Fortunate"
- Atlas — "Enduring"
- Barack — "Blessed"
- Beau — "Beautiful"
- Cadeau — "Gift"
- Diarra — "Gift"
- Enfys — "Rainbow"
- Ezra — "To help"
- Felix — "Good fortune"
- Gerard — "Brave"
- Hari — "One who takes away evil"
- Jayce — "Healer"
- Jesse — "Gift"
- Luca — "Bringer of light"
- Milo — "Fighter"
- Mirai — "Miracle"
- Nathaniel — "Gift of God"
20 Rainbow Baby Names for Girls
- Adora — "Adored"
- Allegra — "Joyous"
- Amy — "Beloved"
- Angela — "Angelic"
- Asha — "Hope"
- Aveline — "Desired"
- Carys — "Love"
- Celeste — "Heavenly"
- Daniella — "Gift"
- Evangeline — "Bearer of good news"
- Felicity — "Good fortune"
- Imani — "Faith"
- Iris — "Rainbow"
- Leora — "Light"
- Nadia — "Hope"
- Shay — "Gift"
- Victoria — "Victorious"
- Vita — "Life"