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The moment you see a pink line on your pregnancy test kit, your whole world starts changing. The joy of experiencing motherhood, your hopes and expectations of being a good mother makes you scroll through the internet for dos and don’ts. While doing this exercise on social media or other websites, you may have swiped through beautiful pictures of mothers proudly showing off their baby bumps coloured like a rainbow. Such photos look so lovely and not to mention, but thought of capturing rainbow wrapped photos as a prop used for maternity photoshoot must have knocked at the doors of your mind. But, do you know the hidden truth behind it? The connection between a rainbow and a baby or a mother? What exactly is the rainbow baby? Here are the facts about rainbow pregnancies.
What is a Rainbow Baby?
The term rainbow is used for a baby who is born to a mother after the loss of her previous baby. The loss of baby could be due to miscarriage, stillbirth (when a baby dies in the womb after surviving for 20-28 weeks of pregnancy) or neonatal death (loss of baby within 28 days old).
As a beautiful and a bright rainbow appears only after the darkness of a storm and giving hopes and positivity of things to get better, in the same manner, a baby born after a storm of loss is considered as a rainbow baby.
Difference between a Rainbow Baby and a Sunshine Baby
A rainbow baby as mentioned earlier refers to a child born following a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or a neonatal death. A sunshine baby refers to a baby who is born before the miscarriage or stillbirth or neonatal death of a child.
A rainbow baby signifies the hope after a storm; on the contrary, a sunshine baby represents the calm before. Each child plays an important role in his/ her family and gives new shades to the family. But the presence of such special babies whether it’s a rainbow baby or a sunshine baby, provide reassurance that difficult phase of life has passed away and lightened up the hopes of the parents even in their worse situations.
What are your Chances of Getting Pregnant with a Rainbow Baby?
According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, a previous pregnancy loss doesn’t mean that you are less fertile now. Please keep in mind that after a miscarriage it is possible to become full-term pregnant and deliver a healthy baby because your body returns to baseline fertility even after an early loss of your child
It does not take a long time for a woman’s body to physically heal after a miscarriage, but sometimes there are emotional scars that need more time to heal. According to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynaecology journal which involved more than 1000 women (who lost their pregnancy), nearly 70% of women who attempted to conceive within three months got pregnant whereas nearly 51% of those who waited got pregnant. This shows that there is no medical reason to delay in trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage. Still how long you want to wait to become pregnant after a miscarriage is totally a personal choice.
To improve your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy, things that you can consider are:
- Addition of vitamins and minerals as supplements in your routine diet (which includes folic acid, iron, iodine, calcium etc.). Consulting your doctor is recommended.
- Eat healthy and well-balanced diet,
- Try to reduce stress,
- Try to get enough sleep
- Avoid caffeine, drugs, alcohol and tobacco products, and
- Consult your doctor before taking any kind of medications.
Why is a Rainbow Baby Special?
A rainbow baby, born after the pain of loss is a sign of positivity and happiness. When you see that pink line on a pregnancy test kit again, you are likely to be overjoyed and anxious at the same time.
Giving birth to the rainbow baby can be the hardest thing ever after saying hello and goodbye to the previous unborn baby, but the feeling of being a mother once again is likely to overcome all your negative emotions. You may feel overprotective, anxious, nervous and anguish for the rainbow baby as the feeling of losing a previous baby might dominate your current emotions. This is normal and will fade away with time. But for sure, this pregnancy is going to be an extra special for all the mothers with a Rainbow baby.
Rainbow Pregnancy- How it Feels?
Below are some of the emotions you may experience:
The feeling of excitement enters your door as soon as you see a positive result for second pregnancy.
You feel grateful to the almighty. You promise yourself for taking good care of your health and make the journey of your newborn healthier. The experience of being a mother once again makes you smile with joy.
Your earlier pain might transform into the fear of losing your rainbow child many times. Each day a step towards pregnancy might bring fear of loss. But need not to worry as with time this fear will fade away.
Birth of these emotions is very natural. Some women might start asking questions to themselves such as why me? Why my baby? Such questions might make you feel guilty when you are pregnant with a rainbow baby. Therefore, it is recommended to devote time to your health, motivate yourself with the positivity of bringing a new baby home and keep yourself busy.
The famous quote by Stephen Hawking, “where there is life, there is hope” perfectly fits in this situation. Being able to be pregnant once again, brings the hope of nourishing the unborn baby for next nine months and later throughout the life.
While it is a happy occasion, you may experience flashes of anger at the previous loss that you had. This is normal and to be expected.
Emotions after Birth of a Rainbow Baby
Every pregnancy and birth is accompanied by its own set of challenges both health wise and emotion wise. But for some parents, who faced a big loss before, might be encountering some additional emotional challenges too.
- You could start thinking twice about everything. Feeling of having a right to this baby after the death of the previous one could strike in your mind.
- A feeling of blaming yourself for the loss of an unborn child may arise
- Seeing your rainbow baby playing in front of you might make you compare your lost child with your rainbow baby
- You may find yourself overprotective towards the child
- You may seem normal only to burst into tears at the slightest trigger. For example, when you see your baby sleeping peacefully, it may bring about a whirlwind of emotions.
- You will feel a sense of achievement. Your previous loss may have left you low, but you are very likely to feel empowered when your rainbow baby is born.
It’s normal to feel frustrated, lose emotions and feel guilty after the loss of an unborn baby. But, one should be very positive and hopeful for a new attempt to conceive. Conceiving a rainbow baby is a testament to your faith in life. So be hopeful. The difficult phase of life has passed, and a new start with a rainbow baby will hold you to enfold all the happiness and joy you deserve of being a mother. If you’re feeling ready to be a mother, if you feel confident and positive, then just go for it.