[ reyn-boh bey-bee ]
What does rainbow baby mean?
A rainbow baby is a baby that is born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or loss of an infant.
Where does rainbow baby come from?
It’s common to compare the feelings of grief and anguish to a storm, and going through the pain of a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or other loss of a child is certainly that. But as we say, there’s a rainbow after the rain—and so a successful pregnancy after an unsuccessful one is called a rainbow baby.
The term emerges by 2008 in a story collected in Christie Brooks’s Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy. The term spread online in internet forums for mothers, perhaps boosted by the de-stigmatization of miscarriages in popular culture. To that point, Crystal Falk and Kim Roman provided care and advice to families on the topic in their 2015 picture book, A Rainbow Baby Story. Popular websites and magazines occasionally feature stories of celebrities, such as Beyoncé and Jay Z, who’ve had rainbow babies.
Examples of rainbow baby
Who uses rainbow baby?
Rainbow baby is an affectionate and loving term used by parents, especially mothers, in discussions of pregnancy or child loss. Parents like to photograph their newborn rainbow babies in rainbow colors. Keep in mind, though, that the topic, and therefore the term, can be very sensitive and personal.
Guess what… WE ARE HAVING OUR RAINBOW BABY!! 🤍🌈 pic.twitter.com/L2VbCeUII2
— Maggie ⋒ (@mamatindall) August 7, 2020
Got to hear the little baby heartbeat today and i fought back the tears because its our rainbow baby. A healthy baby is all we want 💙💗
— Kdub (@kiimsper) August 6, 2020
A related term is a sunshine baby, a child born before a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.
An unrelated sense of rainbow baby is a baby of an interracial or same-sex couple. The term dates back to the 1970s.
This is not meant to be a formal definition of rainbow baby like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of rainbow baby that will help our users expand their word mastery.