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What is a Double Rainbow Baby and How Does it Compare to a Rainbow Baby?

A smiling nine day old newborn baby girl bundled up in a rainbow colored swaddle. She is lying on a cream colored flokati (sheepskin) rug and wearing a crown made of roses.

What is a Double Rainbow Baby and How Does it Compare to a Rainbow Baby?

In recent years the term “rainbow baby” has been used more and more frequently as women choose to open up about miscarriage and pregnancy loss. But have you ever heard the term “double rainbow baby?” If so, you might be curious what it means.

In short, these are hopeful terms that are used to describe a pregnancy after loss. A rainbow baby is a healthy baby born after one loss. A double rainbow baby, on the other hand, is a term used to describe a healthy baby born after two losses.

Before we dive into the specifics, it's important to note that there is no right or wrong way to feel if you find that you or a loved one is having a rainbow baby or a double rainbow baby. Pregnancy loss and even pregnancy after loss can bring forth many emotions and feelings. You may find it difficult to celebrate the joy and hope of new life while still remembering and honoring your loss. It's okay to take your time and move through the process at your own speed.

What is a Rainbow Baby?

As mentioned a rainbow baby is a term used to lovingly describe a new pregnancy after loss. This loss could be through miscarriage, stillbirth, or other infant loss. While finding yourself pregnant after a miscarriage can bring mixed emotions, a rainbow baby can often be a bright spot in a parent's life after loss.

Where does the term Rainbow Baby come from?

According to Dictionary.com, the term “rainbow baby” first appeared in a 2008 story collection called Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy by Christie Brooks.

This term has gained in popularity over the years as women continue to open up about bringing a healthy child into the world after loss. Even celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay Z have experienced loss and welcomed their own rainbow baby.

Are Rainbow Babies Common?

The National Library of Medicine reports that as many as 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. While this may seem like a staggering statistic, it's important to note that the accuracy of home pregnancy tests allows women to know that they are pregnant much earlier than they used to.

Still, while it seems that many who have a loss go on to get pregnant again, it doesn't mean that the feelings you may have aren't real. Many feelings about miscarriage can last a lifetime and it can be challenging to find hope after a loss. However, knowing that many parents have rainbow babies can be hope to hold on to as you move through your next or current fertility journey.

Baby draws a rainbow on the pavement with chalk. Selective focus. Nature.
A rainbow baby is a healthy baby born following a pregnancy loss.

©Tatevosian Yana/Shutterstock.com

What is a Double Rainbow Baby?

As you might have guessed and we've as we've mentioned, a double rainbow baby is a healthy child born after two pregnancies or infant losses. This term signifies a double rainbow in the sky, an even bigger event after a rainstorm. It can also be used by parents who have lost a set of twins.

Other terms for a healthy baby exist including a golden baby. This term is used for a healthy baby born after the rainbow baby and signifies the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Other parents may simply use the term “miracle baby” as a way to celebrate their hope and joy after loss.

What's the Difference Between a Rainbow Baby and a Double Rainbow Baby?

As you likely know by now, these terms are different in that they are used to describe the number of losses before a healthy child is born. A double rainbow baby is born after two losses while a singular rainbow baby is born after one.

However, it's important to note that the term “rainbow baby” can be used as an umbrella term to describe a healthy birth despite the amount of losses. Additionally, some parents choose not to use these terms at all and simply want to remember their loss while celebrating new life.

Keep in mind that no combination of losses is more valid or difficult than another. The term “rainbow baby” is simply used as a sign of hope. Hope that even rainbows come after the rain!

How to Best Welcome a Double Rainbow Baby

Welcoming a double rainbow baby into the world can come with mixed emotions as you honor your losses and celebrate life simultaneously. As we've discussed, it's okay to take your time and process all of your emotions as you need.

Should you find yourself or a loved one welcoming a double rainbow baby, it can feel like a miracle! If you'll soon be welcoming your special baby into the world, here are a few tips:

Celebrate Life

While the road you've journeyed has been long and full of loss, heartbreak, and grief, your double rainbow baby is light at the end of the tunnel. A new life born after loss. It's okay to celebrate this! A new baby means a new life and can bring hope and joy to you and your loved ones.

If you feel ready to celebrate, you can host a party for family and close friends. If you know someone who is expecting after loss, ask them if you can throw a baby shower or sprinkle to celebrate. Keep in mind that not every parent will be ready or want to have a huge gathering. Make sure to take your time or give your loved one space.

Women hugging at baby shower
One way to celebrate your double rainbow baby is by having a baby shower.

©Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock.com

Honor Your Losses

While celebrating new life, that doesn't mean you forget about or try to ignore your losses. The grief you feel from your miscarriages may never go completely away. While grieving and celebrating at the same time may seem complex, it is possible as these are very real and raw emotions.

One option is to honor your losses in a way that feels right to you. This may include planting a flower in your yard in memory of your loss or getting a tattoo as a symbol. Even talking to others about your losses is a way to honor them. Do what feels right to you when you are ready.

Consider Participating in Rainbow Baby Day

National Rainbow Baby Day is celebrated each year on August 22nd. While experiencing a loss and celebrating new life can feel lonely, this day gives you a chance to connect with other parents who have walked a similar path to yours.

This is also a great way for you to share your story which might encourage or help another mother who is going through the same difficult experience. However, if celebrating this day and sharing your story doesn't feel right to you, don't feel as though you have to participate. You can still process your emotions and celebrate new life without having to take part in a special day.

Celebrate with a Double Rainbow Baby Theme

Once your baby is born, you may want to share your announcement with your loved ones and the world. Should you choose, you could celebrate your new bundle of joy with a rainbow baby-themed announcement! This can be sent digitally or by snail mail. Only share when you're ready and in a way that feels comfortable to you.

Another idea is to use the rainbow theme in your maternity photos. This adds a personal touch and is one way to honor your losses while still celebrating new life.

Your Double Rainbow Baby

While labeling your child a rainbow or double rainbow baby may not be for every parent, this term still brings about hope. Experiencing pregnancy loss can be excruciatingly painful. A rainbow baby, or even a double rainbow baby, is a bright reminder that there is new life and joy ahead.

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