Finding out that you are pregnant is a wonderful experience in a couple’s life. Unfortunately, because of pregnancy and labour complications, you may lose your pregnancy or child in the case of a still birth or death in infancy. After mourning, and acceptance of the misfortune in their previous pregnancy, many couples opt to try again. The baby that comes afterwards is usually referred to as a rainbow baby.

What to Expect with Rainbow Babies

  • Expect to Worry

Depending on the circumstances that surrounded the loss of your pregnancy or child, worrying for rainbow babies is normal, especially when the same set of circumstances present themselves.

  • Caution Towards Pregnancy

This is often caused by the emotional hurt that mothers who have lost a pregnancy or child experienced. They may withhold connection or bonding to their existing pregnancy because of the fear that they may lose this one too in the hope that it doesn’t hurt as much if they do.

  • Guilt

Many mothers of rainbow babies experience feelings of unexpected grieve especially when they are happy or bonding with the new pregnancy or baby. This is usually caused by mothers feeling that being happy means dishonouring the memory of their lost pregnancy.

  • It Can Be Overwhelming

The mix of emotions from joy, excitement and elations to unexpected feelings of fear, guilt and anger all take a toll emotionally, physically and mentally on a mother expecting a rainbow baby.

  • Expect Periods of Pure Joy

As every milestone passes, you gain reassurance that you have life inside you despite the fact that you have lost previously. This reassurance often brings pure joy to an expectant mum.

Coping with A Rainbow Baby Pregnancy

Support from family and friends are extremely beneficial when dealing with rainbow babies. The expectant mother can:

  • Share with their family and friends about their fears and worries. Any concerns about the health of the baby may be shared with your doctor for a quick resolution.
  • Being kind to yourself when you notice that you are not bonding with your rainbow baby pregnancy and knowing that it is very normal. Consult your doctor if this feeling becomes overwhelming or disruptive.
  • To deal with guilt knowing that it is okay to have feelings of joy and sadness at the same time helps. Counselling can be considered if these feelings overshadow the gains of having a rainbow baby.
  • Embracing moments and challenges and having an open mind to what it takes to have a rainbow baby will relieve any stressors that may be experienced throughout the pregnancy.

Above all try to remember that a rainbow baby offers hope and another opportunity for parenthood.


Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019 

Sources: mother, scarymommy, huffpost, healthline

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