The loss of a child is never an easy thing to experience as a parent. And whether that loss occurred through miscarriage, stillbirth, or death in infancy, each experience is uniquely heartbreaking. Navigating this devastating experience can feel incredibly isolating for many parents, but often even more so for dads who are often completely left out of the conversation.
As the host of the popular podcast "The Birth Hour," Bryn Huntpalmer has seen firsthand the power that sharing stories can have for women—and the healing and empowerment that can occur as a result. But why wasn't this avenue of healing as accessible for dads, she wondered. She believed they should be able to feel like they can share their perspectives on birth and their experiences with loss as well.
"Hosting a birth stories podcast, I hear a lot of beautiful and empowering stories but I also hear a lot of stories of loss. The fact is that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage and these stories often are never shared," shares Huntpalmer.
"There are lots of different ways to recognize the moms of rainbow babies (babies born shortly after the loss of another baby) and even the babies themselves, but not much for dads. Dads are affected by a pregnancy loss too and often they suffer silently as they are the ones charged with the job of helping the mom through her grief."
Huntpalmer wanted to find a tangible way to help dads feel recognized in their loss and invite them into the narrative, and after much brainstorming, she finally found a way—the amazing Rainbow Dad t-shirt.
She explains, "I know rainbow moms are so grateful for the support of their partners and want them to be recognized for everything they do as well as for what they have lost. I hope that these shirts serve as a sweet gift for women to give to the fathers of rainbow babies as well as something the men will wear proudly."
I couldn't love this more. And dads are chiming in to share their appreciation for the inclusion the t-shirt offers.
Father and babywearing consultant Ben Winton, who will be receiving a Rainbow Dad t-shirt for Father's Day says, "When we lost our first, I was devastated and at times I felt like my pain didn't matter. So when our oldest son was born, I was completely over the moon, but it is a little hard to think that he could have been our second child. The shirt brings awareness that men do have feelings—even if people aren't always aware of them."
So, to all the rainbow dads (and moms) out there: thank you for sharing your stories. Our hearts are with you in your journey of loss and we are thrilled to celebrate those sweet rainbow babies alongside you!
Get your own Rainbow Dad t-shirt here.