National Rainbow Baby Day Date in the current year: August 22, 2024

National Rainbow Baby Day On August 22, people across the nation celebrate children born to families that have previously experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. This observance is known as National Rainbow Baby Day.

According to statistics, 10% to 20% of clinically recognized pregnancies end in a miscarriage, 1 for every 72 births is a stillbirth, approximately 1.5% of all pregnancies are ectopic and therefore rarely viable, and the global infant mortality rate is approximately 27 deaths per 1,000 live births, with most of the deaths occurring in developing countries and Africa having the highest infant mortality rate.

The loss of a pregnancy or the death of an infant is always hard for both parents and creates a higher risk of breakup or divorce, especially for couples that have experienced a stillbirth. However, not all couples that have gone through the trauma of losing a child dissolve. Many stay together and keep trying for a baby.

Babies that are born after a previous loss of one or more children due to miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy or infant mortality are often referred to as rainbow babies. This term is meant to symbolize the hope, joy and healing brought by the child born after the grief and emotional turmoil of the previous loss, like a rainbow after a storm. 

The term “rainbow baby” was first used in 2008 in an essay collection entitled Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Tell Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy, edited by Christi Brooks. Although the collection focused on late-term abortions due to pregnancy complications, the term was eventually adopted by the wider pregnancy loss community. 

It should be noted that some women don’t feel comfortable using the term “rainbow baby” for a number of reasons. For example, some think that it puts too much focus on the previous death or deaths rather than celebrates the life of the baby that was born. Others don’t feel like they need to put a special label on the child that connects them to their unborn sibling or siblings.

For a lot of parents, the birth of a rainbow baby is a source of mixed feelings. On the one hand, having a healthy baby after a devastating loss feels like a miracle. On the other hand, parents may feel guilty for “replacing” their lost baby with the new one. National Rainbow Baby Day is a great opportunity for them to reflect on their emotions and feelings and realize that they are allowed to grieve and be happy at the same time.

National Rainbow Baby Day is observed every August 22 to commemorate lost babies and celebrate motherhood. It was founded in 2018 by Alexis Delchiaro of What the Fertility, a charity that helps mothers and future mothers navigate the ups and downs of fertility, trying to conceive, IVF, pregnancy, and adoption.

How can you observe National Rainbow Baby Day? If you’re a parent to a rainbow baby, share your story online with the hashtag #NationalRainbowBabyDay to encourage families that feel like giving up and show them that there is a rainbow after a storm after all. But remember that you don’t have to do this if you want to keep things private.

Other ways to observe National Rainbow Baby Day include holding a memorial for the child or children lost, donating to a pregnancy loss charity, and raising awareness about miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, and infant mortality.

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National Rainbow Baby Day, observances in the United States, rainbow babies, miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, infant mortality