Q. What is a rainbow baby?
A. A rainbow baby is a baby that is born to parents after they have had a miscarriage, experienced a stillbirth or lost a child in infancy, says Tracey Minella of Lake Grove, who blogs for Long Island IVF.
“The rainbow is the beautiful thing that comes after the horrific storm, and all the darkness associated with loss,” Minella says. The new birth brings joy.
Being pregnant with a rainbow baby isn’t easy as parents hope for a healthy child, says Kara Hanson Micucci, who lost a baby just shy of the third trimester and went on to have another daughter, who is now 2.
“The path to a rainbow baby is very anxiety-provoking and scary,” says Micucci, who is also a licensed psychologist in private practice in Huntington specializing in infant loss and infertility issues. “When the results are not what you were expecting, going into it the second time you focus more on what could go wrong. It’s very stressful for most women.”
Oct. 15 happens to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, a day when families honor the baby they lost.
“It’s very hard to have it as if they didn’t exist in the first place,” Minella says. “My understanding is that people want to talk about that child.”
Micucci agrees that the lost baby was precious as is the rainbow baby. “Some people recognize it more openly, some people recognize it more privately,” Micucci says.
There’s a growing movement that suggests marking the day at 7 p.m. by lighting a candle in remembrance of that life, Minella says. “They can feel when they’re lighting that candle that there’s sort of a global similar effort going on at the same time,” she says.