Rainbow Baby Day 2022
The symbol of the rainbow has also been used by members of the baby loss community for many years now to refer to a baby born after a previous loss, often symbolising hope and light after a dark time.
As we approach Rainbow Baby Day 2022 – which falls on Monday 22 August – we want to highlight these stories of hope by introducing you to just a few of the babies born thanks to the teams at our research centres and clinics. Visit our Rainbow Baby Day hub to find out how you can celebrate with us this year.
A few of our Tommy's rainbows
Meet just some of the rainbow babies who have made their way into the world due to the wonderful work of our researchers and clinicians up and down the country.
Max and Leo
Katie was heartbroken when she had 2 second-trimester losses a year apart on the same day. She was then referred to Prof Andrew Shennan, who fitted her with a cervical stitch in her next pregnancy to help her carry her baby to term. In 2019, her rainbow baby boy Maximus arrived safely.
When Katie fell pregnant again in 2021, she went back to see Prof Shennan. After another stitch to help prevent premature labour, her youngest son, Leonidas, was born in October.
I will always be grateful for all my boys, my 2 precious babies in heaven and the 2 in my arms here on earth, because they helped me to see that life truly is a gift.
Read Katie's story here
Maisie and her wife Becca lost their daughter, Willow, in 2018, when she was born too soon to survive. When they fell pregnant again, they were cared for by the team at our Rainbow Clinic in Manchester. Rainbow baby Riley arrived at 34 weeks, in the same room as his sister was born.
"Without the incredible support and care that I received at Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic in Manchester, I would never have been able to get through my second pregnancy. My Rainbow Riley came early and I feel so strongly that my body would have gone into labour even earlier with stress and anxiety if it weren’t for the love of Tommy’s.
Like so many people experiencing a pregnancy after loss I had severe anxiety as well as depression and moments of PTSD. The Rainbow Clinic helped because they gave me extra screenings and they would always be there when I needed to talk to them and when I had worries even when the worry seemed really small, because they knew that every single concern I had was something serious to me.
Not only did they give me personal support they were also so wonderful with my wife. Tommy’s clinic doctors and midwives were so incredibly respectful of our journey and made us both feel very welcome. I know this is not the case for all LGBTQ+ people within healthcare, and so I am incredibly grateful for it.
I wish we could thank all the people who looked after us to the level they deserve. The work you have all done, and continue to do, not only saves babies lives but also parents’ lives."
Read Maisie's story here
Georgia was born in March 2020 to proud parents Danielle and Ed from Peterborough.
Danielle had 5 heart-breaking miscarriages before becoming pregnant for the sixth time with baby Georgia.
Throughout her pregnancy, Danielle was supported by our team at Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research at our research clinic at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.
The team at the clinic created a detailed care plan for Danielle and were able to prescribe specialist treatment to help sustain her pregnancy. Danielle also took up the opportunity to participate in research trials to help save more babies' lives in the future.
"Georgia was so worth waiting for. All of the heartache we had to go through, we would do it all again to have her here - she is such a beautiful, cheeky and incredibly happy girl and we feel so blessed to be her parents"
Read Danielle’s story here
After losing their firstborn son, Altair, Shema and her husband Ian now have 2 rainbow babies thanks to specialist care from our team in Manchester. After her devastating loss, Shema was diagnosed with a rare placenta condition called Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis (CHI). Before becoming pregnant again, Shema was told that the condition was not treatable.
“We’d been told by a few doctors that it wasn’t treatable and that we should consider surrogacy, but we were determined to find an answer. Luckily we were put in touch with the Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre in Manchester, where Professor Alex Heazell immediately gave us hope. His research had allowed him to develop a treatment that seemed to work for some women like me.”
Under his care and guidance at Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic, Shema and Ian welcomed their first rainbow baby, Faris, safe and sound in December 2018.
Their latest addition, Lyra Joy, was born at the beginning of April at the height of the pandemic.
“Lyra Joy, our second rainbow, was born on 1 April 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is perfect. All 3 of our babies are. We really are the luckiest family of 5 and we can never thank Tommy’s enough.”
Read Shema’s story here
Coping with pregnancy after loss
It’s important to note that, for many parents, the arrival of a rainbow baby doesn’t take away the pain and grief that often accompanies baby loss. The arrival of a rainbow is something to celebrate, but their siblings will never be forgotten. Our supporter, Beth, expresses her feelings about the term.
“I think it’s crucially important that we create a culture which allows women with rainbow babies to continue to express their grief and trauma, without feeling they are being ungrateful for what they have. We’re still bereaved parents, and the safe arrival of a rainbow baby doesn’t take that pain and trauma away.”
We also know that some parents might be reading this page without their rainbow baby. We’re here to support you, whatever stage you may be at in your journey. If you find any of this content triggering, please do not be afraid to reach out and get support.