The feeling of loss and grief after a miscarriage or stillbirth is extremely poignant and personal. Few around the mother will understand the bereavement. In many societies, the hurt is kept quiet and inside.
Symbols and colors have often been used to depict the grief and inform others what has happened. Purple butterfly stickers are placed inside an incubator where one of the twins or triplets has died. Babyloss Awareness week runs in October, where people wear awareness ribbons. Tattoos are another form of remembering, often symbolizing something meaningful to the mother. Such actions actively encourage people to break the silence and speak about the trauma.
Rainbow Babies, is now a term that is gaining momentum for the name of a baby born after a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.
Pebbles and Polka Dots Photography, who take pictures of proud parents wrote, “A rainbow baby is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravage of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean the storm never happened, or the family is still not dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds.”
When the new baby is born, mothers may feel an entanglement of joy and guilt. Even with the elation of the newborn, normal circumstances don’t apply, as the new life is a reminder of the life lost.
The goal of all these terms and symbols is to raise awareness of the issues that face some women.
Russian site, Puzi Raduga (Rainbow Bellies), hosted a competition to highlight the journey for women who have had rainbow babies.
Natalia Karpovovy and Elena Gannenko’s photo brought together 7 pregnant women who were expecting rainbow babies.
Dressed in rainbow colors they displayed their flowered bellies in a show of solidarity. Solidarity for women who had suffered loss.
Once their babies were born, the girls dressed in white with their babies in rainbow colors. Demonstrating how hope has helped them through the storm.