After the loss of a baby during pregnancy or infancy, the innocence of pregnancy is gone. A subsequent pregnancy is a tightrope walk between joy and grief, hope and fear. A rainbow baby is loved and hoped for, and yet, after loss, parents know there are no guarantees. While a rainbow baby will never replace a baby who died, they deserve to be celebrated and to honor the family’s journey, never forgetting their precious baby who died.

This is why we recognize National Rainbow Baby Day on August 22nd each year: to celebrate the rainbow babies, remember the babies who came before them, and honor each parents’ journey.

National Rainbow Baby Day

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What is a Rainbow Baby?

The term rainbow baby comes from the Shannon L. Adler quote, “After every storm, there is a rainbow.”

A rainbow baby is, quite simply, a baby born or adopted directly after the loss of a child, either in pregnancy or after birth. This term is a simple way to communicate that this new pregnancy follows a loss, and quickly encapsulates the complicated emotions this pregnancy likely brings.

The storm, in this instance, refers to the tragic and traumatic loss of a child and the ensuing grief as you process that loss.

The significance of the rainbow is that life and hope not only can survive such a storm – but that the storm itself is integral to the formation of the rainbow. (Learn more about the term “rainbow baby” and if the term is right for you.)

Origins of National Rainbow Baby Day

National Rainbow Baby Day was founded by Alexis Delchiaro and What The Fertility. Alexis and her husband struggled for years with infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. They welcomed their son, Grant, via adoption, and their daughter, Gianna, a few months later.

 

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A post shared by Alexis | Mom Life (@alexisdelchiaro)

Alexis wanted to honor her family’s journey and celebrate her living children, so she founded National Rainbow Baby Day on her daughter, Gianna’s, birthday in 2018.

 

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A post shared by Alexis | Mom Life (@alexisdelchiaro)

Recently, their family also celebrated the adoption of their daughter, Franchesca.

 

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A post shared by Alexis | Mom Life (@alexisdelchiaro)

Ways to Celebrate National Rainbow Baby Day

National Rainbow Baby Day

At Pregnancy After Loss Support, we count down to Rainbow Baby Day during the month of August. Join us August 16-22, 2023, as we partner with Willow’s Rainbow Boxes for Rainbow Baby Week. There will be many opportunities to share about all of your precious babies through our online magazine, the Pregnancy After Loss App, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Here are some ways for you to get involved:

1. Share your story to be featured in Pregnancy After Loss Support’s Online Magazine

We would love to feature your story during Rainbow Baby Week in August! Parents’ journeys after loss take so many paths, and we hope to share stories from diverse experiences. Topics can include (but are not limited to) no living children after loss, trying to conceive after loss, pregnancy after loss, rainbow birth stories, pregnancy after loss as an LGBTQ+ parent, pregnancy after loss as a BIPOC parent, pregnancy after the loss of an infant or child, the partner’s experience of pregnancy after loss, parenting after loss, infertility after loss, recurrent loss, TFMR after loss, and more. Submit your story here.

2. Share your story on social media.

Help spread awareness about pregnancy, infant, and child loss, and the unique journey of trying to conceive, pregnancy, and parenting after loss by sharing your story on National Rainbow Baby Day. Social media has allowed so many loss parents to know they are not alone in their experiences of life after loss. And, sharing your story helps those who haven’t experienced loss have a better understanding and awareness. Be sure to tag @pregnancyafterlosssupport and use the hashtag #NationalRainbowBabyDay.

3. Have a rainbow-themed photoshoot

No matter where you are on your journey–hoping for a rainbow baby, pregnant with your rainbow baby, or parenting your rainbow baby–a rainbow-themed photoshoot celebrates hope. Whether you have an epic photoshoot with a photographer or stage your own little photoshoot at home, you’ll be making beautiful memories that honor your parenthood journey. And, if you’re looking for a special community project to participate in, check out Journey for Jasmine’s Project Finding Your Rainbow.

4. Interview your rainbow baby and write down their answers for their baby book/scrapbook or share on social media.

PALS contributor and board member, Rebecca Markert, interviewed her four rainbow babies and shared their answers in our online magazine. Get the interview questions to interview your rainbow baby. It’s such a fun way to connect with your child and get their perspective.

5. Read a special children’s book that honors your journey with your rainbow baby.

Reading is such a special way to bond with your child. So many in the community who are parenting after loss look for age-appropriate ways to share their losses with their children. Books can really help. See our favorite books to read to your baby born after loss for inspiration.

6. Make a donation to Pregnancy After Loss Support.

Make a donation to Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) in memory of your baby who died or in honor of your rainbow baby, and help keep PALS’ services and resources free for moms who are traveling the journey of pregnancy after loss. Get your family and friends involved by organizing a Facebook or Instagram fundraiser in honor of your journey, and invite them to join you in raising funds for PALS.

However you choose to spend the day, know we see your parenthood to all of your babies and celebrate them with you.

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