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Announcing a rainbow baby can be a giant bag of emotions. You’re excited and scared. You know people will celebrate, and you want to celebrate, but you may also have some lingering desire to temper your feelings.
Others want to use the rainbow baby announcement for advocacy, helping to normalize the experience of miscarriage. Some people want to honor the babies they lost in their announcements, while others want to focus on the positive and the future.
What I’m telling you is, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. There’s only your way. And your way is okay.
If you’re trying to figure out how to manage a rainbow baby announcement for your miracle baby, we’ll give you fun ideas no matter where you stand in this list of possibilities.
This is your pregnancy, mama; make of it what you want!
Why Do a Rainbow Baby Announcement?
Choosing to have a specific rainbow baby announcement is a very personal decision.
After all, by announcing your pregnancy with a rainbow announcement, you’re inherently connecting this pregnancy with your past loss(es).
For many parents, this is a way to honor the angel baby (or babies) they lost while celebrating the ones that are to come. It’s a way of recognizing that one child does not replace another, but the coming child was so longed for and brings much joy.
It can also be a way for parents to express their feelings about their current pregnancy.
Pregnancy after loss comes with such riddled emotions, so if you find yourself keeping some emotional distance between yourself and your baby and want others to understand, a rainbow baby announcement is one way to help discuss all you’re feeling publicly.
How to Know if a Rainbow Baby Announcement is Right for You
If you’re considering a rainbow baby announcement but aren’t sure it’s the route you want to take, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I want to acknowledge my past fertility experiences in such a public way?
- Am I comfortable speaking openly about having experienced previous loss?
- Am I comfortable having people I haven’t spoken to in a while reach out to talk about their own losses?
- Do I have the desire to normalize pregnancy loss and advocate openly for the loss community?
If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then a rainbow baby announcement might be right for you!
Also, please know this. If your answers are “no,” to any or all of these questions, that’s okay. Loss parents are under no obligation to educate the public about miscarriage or to talk about their experiences.
This experience is uniquely your own, and we encourage you to handle it in whatever way feels best to you.
Types of Rainbow Baby Announcements
No matter what type of rainbow baby announcement you’re considering, you want to be sure you do it in a way that feels authentic to you.
Personally, after 4 losses, I had extreme anxiety about ultrasounds. Whether I was having an ultrasound myself or seeing ultrasound photos appear on my feed, they often triggered my anxiety.
As a result, it was important to me not to use an ultrasound photo in my announcement; I didn’t want to upset anyone else the way I’d often been upset.
Because I knew that many people have similar emotional struggles by photos of positive pregnancy tests, I personally chose not to include those either.
But please hear me when I say this, mama. You’ve waited for this moment, and you deserve to do it the way you want to. So while I personally felt the most comfortable not using items that might be upsetting to women experiencing infertility or miscarriage, you do not have to feel the same way.
If your ultrasound brings you joy, or you’ve waited years for that positive pregnancy test, then use it if you want to!
People who are in a difficult place can always choose to temporarily mute you on social media while you go through your pregnancy however you feel the most comfortable.
Rainbow Baby Photoshoot Announcements
Whether you have a professional photoshoot or do your own at home, you can use special rainbow baby props or outfits to create the perfect creative rainbow baby announcement. Here are some props you might enjoy.
1. Ultrasound Photos
As I mentioned, I chose not to use ultrasound photos in my rainbow baby announcement, but if it’s something that brings you joy, you have every right to use it and love it.
2. Positive pregnancy tests
Again, I chose not to show a pregnancy test, but for many mamas, they’re so special for some people that they must be included. Again, you do you, mama!
This is actually how I chose to announce my rainbow pregnancy after 4 losses. I purchased a onesie from Etsy that said, “Hand picked for Earth by my siblings in Heaven,” a sentiment that I, to this day, believe was true.
You can choose from an array of options, but here are some of our favorites:
This precious onesie is simple but beautiful.
We especially love the soft, gentle lettering for baby’s name at the bottom.
We love the sentiment behind this sweet onesie, which so directly nods to the struggle for this much longed for little one.
It’s simple, but oh so sweet.
For the families who share my sentiments about their rainbow babies, this is a sweet phrase that will always hold a special place in my heart.
I love how much more classic and simple the designs have become, and this one makes my heart melt.
Etsy is a treasure trove of rainbow baby gear for the whole family.
What I love about props is that you can use them in a photoshoot that makes you and the rest of your family more prominent.
You can hold a rainbow in front of your baby bump, hold it with your partner, or get creative with your announcement.
Macrame rainbows are perfect for rainbow baby announcements, your rainbow nursery, rainbow baby showers, and more!
These particular rainbows are made by Samantha, another loss mom, as a way to honor her own journey with rainbow baby pregnancy. They’re available in different sizes and colors, and each is named in honor of another loss mom.
I have one hanging in my office, and it’s the highlight of my day.
Waiting to announce until you’ve already started a nursery?
This beautiful rainbow baby mobile is a stunning way to make an announcement that does double duty for decorating your nursery!
7. Letter Boards with Rainbow Baby Quotes
I’m not going to lie; letter boards can be really annoying to put together! That said, they’re super fun to have around for different photo opportunities, like baby’s monthly photos after they’re born!
Booties are a common theme in pregnancy announcements. Why not turn it into something special for your rainbow baby?
We adore these rainbow baby booties, perfect for a subtle or clearly rainbow baby announcement!
Another great option that doubles as a nursery decoration, we love this precious rainbow baby sign.
Use it as a prop in your announcement, then display it in the nursery as a sweet reminder of the journey to your beloved babe.
When to Announce A Pregnancy with Your Rainbow Baby
When to announce a pregnancy is a completely personal decision, though I’ve written extensively on my personal thoughts on it.
While I normally don’t adhere to the “12 week rule” unless you know you wouldn’t share if you experienced a loss, there are a few reasons I would consider waiting for a rainbow baby announcement.
First, pregnancy after loss anxiety is all too real, so the idea of announcing a pregnancy early might be upsetting for a rainbow mama. I told people who I would have shared a loss with from the beginning, but I didn’t actually announce publicly until I was 24 weeks pregnant.
Second, if you want to do a rainbow announcement, you likely want to feel confident that this baby will be your rainbow baby. And while the risk of back-to-back miscarriages is low, it can happen, which is why many loss moms choose to wait.
Ultimately, though, the choice is yours. When you feel like you want the world to know, then it’s time.
If the timing adds up, a super special touch could be to announce your pregnancy on Rainbow Baby Day on August 22!
Where to Announce a Rainbow Pregnancy
Announce your pregnancy wherever feels best to you.
I announced my rainbow pregnancy on Facebook. If I get to announce another, it will likely be on both Facebook and Instagram. That’s because those are the social media platforms I use the most. Wherever your friends and family are is likely where you’ll want to announce.
When baby arrives, many mamas still love sending paper announcements. Shutterfly has tons of precious rainbow baby announcements that they’ll happily print for you!
Did you do a rainbow baby announcement? Tell us about it in the comments!
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, mom, recurrent miscarriage survivor, & owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband (affectionately known on the internet as “Husband,”) son (Jack), and dog (Charlotte). She believes our society puts too many expectations on women that make womanhood and motherhood restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Romper, Scary Mommy, Demeter Press’s Motherhood and Social Exclusion, & more.