Pregnancy After Loss – Rainbow Baby
“Rainbow baby” is the term given to a baby born after loss, whether from miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. This blog is in no way an intention to provide a magical recipe on how to navigate a pregnancy without any hurt, fear, sadness, or grief of your previous loss. Any emotion you feel, or even a lack of emotion, is okay, valid, and may arise at any point during a pregnancy and after the rainbow baby arrives. The point of this blog is to provide you with resources to support you during your journey through motherhood, as windy of a road as that may seem.
Movement during this pregnancy may look different than before. You may be more cautious about things you do in terms of movement while pregnant with your rainbow baby, but ACOG (American College of Gynecology) states that exercise during pregnancy does not cause miscarriage (1). In fact, we know that being active during pregnancy can help with improved mood, decreased depression and increased self esteem (2). We also know that exercise during pregnancy can also help decrease the perception of pain during birth and increase the effectiveness of pushing during the birth process (3). You can learn more about training for birth here. Other “absolute no’s during pregnancy and postpartum” are found here.
We encourage you to listen to your body when it comes to movement during this time. Remind yourself of what is true and respect and honor your body as you are growing a human. Gentle movement that you can begin to incorporate is breath. The breath connects the physical to the non-physical, connecting you to your baby. It’s important to note that the diaphragm holds so many emotions, so connection to your breath may cause things to come up for you. This is okay. It is all okay; and you will be okay.
It can be really important to find out “who you are” as an eater. In this BIRTHFIT Webinar, Melissa Hemphill, Mind-Body Nourishment Coach, addresses our special and often complicated relationship to food. She covers special nuances pregnant & postpartum women face in their relationship to food and presents strategies to revolutionize your life experience during particularly challenging times. She also offers individual BIRTHFIT consults on this topic, which can be scheduled here.
If you are not feeling up to eating food of any sort in your first trimester, check out this great BIRTHFIT Blog about how to better support yourself during this time nutritionally. For some, morning sickness is welcomed, as it may be reassuring to you. In any case, supporting your body nutritionally during this time is best for you and for rainbow baby.
Connecting with other women who can relate to you during this time can be especially helpful. Pregnancy After Loss Support has online and in-person support groups that can connect you with other people whom you can share your experience with.
Finding a BIRTHFIT Coach or BIRTHFIT Professional in your area is also a great way to find people in your local community who can support you around this time as well. They can help guide you to groups and professionals who can support you while you navigate this time.
Community is sometimes the last thing you want to rely on while faced with the fear of another loss, but having a small set of people who can support and love you during this time is key. As you know, social media birth announcements may create anxiety; however, sharing your news with close friends and family may help to give you space to learn how to heal and celebrate in a safe space.
This pillar is undoubtedly the toughest as you navigate pregnancy after loss but honoring whatever mindset you’re in today is a giant step in the right direction.
We know that you are fearful of another loss, but we are here for you. Seeking a counselor who can support you during this pregnancy is a great option, and is likely helpful for both parents.
It is important to understand that you will experience a lot during this pregnancy and we see you. Any emotion is valid, any feeling is valid, every laugh is valid, every cry is valid.
Your excitement may shift to indifference – that is okay.
You may be still grieving – that is okay.
You may not be okay – that is okay.
You may worry about EVERYTHING – that is okay.
Bonding with this baby may be different than you imagined – that is okay.
You can experience joy – that is okay, too.
We see the difficulty in this time for you and we honor you for your strength.
Your rainbow baby may be your reward for braving the storm, but we know that storm will never leave your heart.
Dr. Whitley Jagnanan, DC, CST, BSBIRTHFIT Houston Heights
Vital Family Chiropractic
1535 Yale St, Houston, TX 77008@birthfithoustonheights @vital_houston
Please note: The BIRTHFIT Infant Loss Plan is designed to bravely support you should you experience loss, while helping you navigate a time that we pray no one would have to.