Rainbow babies represent so much: love, hope, new beginnings. Their entire existence is a gift their parents didn't think was possible for them. And talking about rainbow babies is important because it can help parents who have experienced loss feel less alone, which is why there's a holiday dedicated to the day. So when is Rainbow Baby Day? It's the sweetest holiday ever.
A rainbow baby is a child born soon after the loss of a different baby from miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. Any parent feels lucky when their child is born, but the sense of joy a rainbow baby can bring is almost unfathomable. As Jennifer Kulp-Makarov, M.D., FACOG, explained to Parents.com, "It is an extremely emotional and devastating experience to lose a pregnancy [or baby]. To create a life or bring a baby into the world after such a loss is amazing like a miracle for these parents." The phrase has become more mainstream since 2016, and the term is helping to destigmatize infant loss as a taboo subject.
Rainbow Baby Day is a holiday intended to both honor the babies parents have lost and celebrate the new life they were able to bring into the world, as Baby Earth explains. Rainbow Baby Day is on August 22 every year, per The Things, which falls on a Thursday in 2019. Although they may seem similar, it's different than October's National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day, as Rainbow Baby Day is dedicated to both the lost child and the one that comes after, acknowledging the fact that one would not exist if the other had not passed. The child they lost will always be part of the story for these families, and the day allows them to honor them without lessening the joy the new child brings.
Because the day is so emotional, you might not know how to celebrate the holiday if you're part of the rainbow baby community. You may want to use the day to share a little bit of your story as Twitter user @Coach_Meyer did above. Or even write a novel-length post about your experience. It can be therapeutic and will spread awareness about rainbow babies. It may also comfort other parents who have lost a pregnancy or have rainbow babies of their own, giving them an opportunity to take joy in their new pregnancy or give them hope they can conceive again.
Likewise, posting a rainbow baby pregnancy announcement or snapshot of you with your miracle child can both honor your lost one's legacy and help you express your love for your living family, as well as make other parents feel less alone. Or if you want to keep your observance of the holiday private, instead just taking a few moments with your family to think about what your rainbow baby means to you, that's a perfect way to acknowledge the holiday, too. You should celebrate your whole family in the way that feels right for you, whether that be publicly sharing your story or just taking a few moments to reflect on the path it took to get the family you have now.
Losing a child is unimaginable, and nothing can replace them, not even a new baby. Rainbow Baby Day creates space for all your children, and that's something worth celebrating.