Definition of Rainbow Baby

Find Out What Rainbow Baby Means

Pregnant belly - rainbow baby
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The term "rainbow baby" is used by parents who are expecting another child after losing a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death. It is used frequently on blogs and message boards by mothers who have gone through pregnancy loss.

The term refers to the fact that a rainbow appears only after the rain. In this case, the “rain” or “storm” is the grief of losing a child. Many mothers who use the term point out that the rainbow doesn’t negate the effects of the storm, but does bring light to the dark and is a symbol of hope.

Please keep in mind that after miscarriage it's very possible to become pregnant and deliver a healthy, beautiful and full-term pregnancy.

Because your body returns to baseline fertility after miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, it may be helpful to consider what this exactly means.

When Does Ovulation Resume After Miscarriage?

After a pregnancy ends, either by spontaneous or induced means, ovulation can resume in as early as 2 weeks.

Research shows that there's a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) at between 16 and 22 days after miscarriage, neonatal death, stillbirth or so forth. This surge in LH is followed by a surge in progesterone levels. Furthermore, endometrial biopsy confirms that these hormone changes result in changes to the lining of the uterus conducive to pregnancy. These hormone surges mean that your body is ready to start ovulating again. A previous pregnancy loss doesn't mean that you are any less fertile.

When Is It the Best Time to Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage?

A 2010 study examined 31,000 women had miscarriage and determined that those women who had pregnancies within 6 months of miscarriage had better pregnancy outcomes than those women with previous miscarriage who had pregnancies after 6 months of miscarriage.

In other words, it appears that there may be a benefit to having a baby within 6 months of having a miscarriage instead of waiting longer.

Please keep in mind, however, that although waiting fewer than 6 months may be statistically appealing, people who have just experienced miscarriage should get pregnant when they want to.

Contraception After Miscarriage

Some women and couples don't want to wait to get pregnant after a miscarriage. In these people, contraception should be started as soon after miscarriage as possible.

Specifically, oral contraceptives can be immediately started after miscarriage. Furthermore, IUD can also be immediately inserted after miscarriage. However, the disadvantage of immediate insertion of an IUD is that it is more likely to get expelled.


Hoffman BL, Schorge JO, Schaffer JI, Halvorson LM, Bradshaw KD, Cunningham F, Calver LE. Chapter 6. First-Trimester Abortion. In: Hoffman BL, Schorge JO, Schaffer JI, Halvorson LM, Bradshaw KD, Cunningham F, Calver LE. eds. Williams Gynecology, 2e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2012.

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