10 Things to Do When Pregnant with a Rainbow Baby
Experiencing a loss can tear at your heart, make you question so many things, and terrify you throughout a rainbow pregnancy. It’s easier said than done: To relax and enjoy your rainbow pregnancy. This struggle becomes harder if you have experienced more than one loss.
What makes it even harder? The fact that no one seems to talk about it.
It’s time to talk loss and rainbows. Talking will free your emotions and allow you to enjoy your rainbow baby.
What is a Rainbow Pregnancy?
A pregnancy that occurs after the loss of a fetus or baby is called a “Rainbow Pregnancy.” This pregnancy signifies that there is beauty after a storm.
Being pregnant with a rainbow baby is nerve-racking. It will have you checking the toilet paper every time you wipe for signs of blood. It will make you question every day that you feel “normal.” It will have you wondering just when then pregnancy will be taken from you.
10 Things to Do While Pregnant with Your Rainbow Baby
Share Your Story
Don’t hide that you have experienced loss. One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, but very few women share their stories. Talking about your loss will help you emotionally process it, allowing more happy feelings to flood you throughout a rainbow pregnancy.
Say your lost angel’s name. If you did not name her, did not know her gender, and only had a short time knowing she existed, that is okay. She is still an angel. She touched your life in a way that so many will not understand.
Do not feel guilty or ashamed to share a story of loss, no matter what stage of pregnancy (or infancy) the loss occurred. Educating others will help them know how to reach out to other mothers who have lost. Sharing your past, and celebrating your present is #1 on the list of to-do’s while pregnant with a rainbow baby.
The feelings are real. They will rollercoaster throughout an entire rainbow pregnancy. You will have days of joy and days of panic. Not only is this okay, but it is normal. How you process these feelings is what matters most.
Take the time to create a journal or other way to document this pregnancy. If you are not a writer, then take pictures. Seeing the pregnancy, making it tangible through words and photos will help you emotionally and mentally realize that there is a baby to get excited about.
Studies, research, and common sense all show just how harmful stress is to the body as a whole, let alone during pregnancy. While there is no way you will completely be stress-free, you can try to manage your stress. Consider exercise, yoga, meditation, reading, napping, breathing exercises, and eliminating any external stress that you can.
Hold a Blessingway or Baby Shower for this baby. Celebrate your body and how it is able to create life. As you know, it can be taken so unexpectedly. We never know how much time we are granted, so to celebrate is vital.
Record Baby’s Heart Beat -- Hearing that sweet sound every day will bring you more comfort than you can imagine.
Connect with Baby
A few things you can do to help:
- Find out the gender (or not, whichever brings your heart peace)
- Name him
- Purchase a few new items that are not hand-me-downs
- Talk to your baby
- Count the kicks
Allow the Journey to be Emotional
Do not dismiss your emotions.
A journey of a rainbow baby is not comparable to a typical pregnancy, neither are your emotions throughout it.
Dream of the Future
Give yourself the freedom to dream about this baby. Picture the tea parties, soccer games, and family life ahead. Let your heart fill with excitement for all the joy that can come.
Name Your Baby
Whether you know the gender or not, choose names. At least choose a shortlist. If this baby is not meant to join you earthside, having a name for him will help you process another loss. A name will also strengthen your bond with the baby.
Love Your Birth Team
This is very important. A great birth team is vital for all pregnancies, but after experiencing a loss, you want to feel confident that your midwife or doctor will support you. You need to be able to call and show up at a moment’s notice if you are struggling with fears or need to hear a heartbeat. You should never feel dismissed or belittled for your feelings and needs. Take the time to find a birth team that helps you feel comfortable with your rainbow pregnancy.No matter how you choose to spend your time cherishing this life, make sure that you do not take it for granted. Love this blessing just as you have loved the previous blessing(s) – if not, love this time more. Allow your heart to grow and know a new love.