Fathers Aren't Often Included In Conversations About Miscarriage. These 'Rainbow Dad' Shirts Aim To Change That.

"I want men to feel supported in the journey of fatherhood after a loss and recognized for the important role they played in that journey."

The odds of a miscarriage for pregnancies under 12 weeks is one in five, yet they are not openly discussed because people often feel associated shame and confusion. And when pregnancy loss is discussed, it is almost always focused on the woman's perspective. Mom Bryn Huntpalmer is hoping to change that with her line of Rainbow Dad T-shirts.



Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer
Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer

After reaching out to dads who experienced pregnancy loss, the idea for the collection of shirts was born. "I've seen so many memorial items to recognize moms after a pregnancy loss," The mom-of-two explained to A Plus via email. "It is so great that the conversation around loss is becoming less stigmatized, but still there is little out there to support fathers after a loss ... "

" ... And the impact on them is often just as great."

Courtesy of Cloverbud Photography
Courtesy of Cloverbud Photography

She added that while she was hosting the birth stories podcast, The Birth Hour, she would frequently hear about how important women's support networks were after they experienced miscarriages. 

"One of the things that always comes up in women's stories after a pregnancy or infant loss is how essential support and community was to the mom, and I think dads deserve the same."

Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer
Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer

When it came to designing the T-shirts, Huntpalmer said she specifically wanted to included a rainbow, the traditional symbol for babies born to parents who had previously experienced a miscarriage.  

"I had a lot of feedback from dads and ultimately landed on a non-traditional vintage looking rainbow that dads are loving," she revealed. "After many vetoes of designs, I was thrilled to hear 'I would totally wear that' about this final design. The words 'rainbow dad' are subtle and not immediately noticeable until someone is just close enough to perhaps start a conversation around the shirt." 

Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer
Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer

Huntpalmer hopes that the Rainbow Dad T-shirts help fathers feel supported. "I know men who have been through the 'storm' of pregnancy loss are deeply affected, just like women, and when their rainbow baby finally arrives, it's an overwhelming time of emotion.



She elaborates, "Rainbow dads are proud of what they've been through and want the world to recognize that fatherhood began for them before the baby in their arms arrived. I want men to feel supported in the journey of fatherhood after a loss and recognized for the important role they played in that journey."

Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer
Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer

Richard, Huntplamer's husband adds, "There are too few resources for men who experience child loss, perhaps because they don't physically experience it the way women do, or because our society is generally dismissive of men's emotional needs. Maybe both. So, to me, the rainbow dad tee is a small, but powerful, acknowledgment of a father's role in child loss and in the redemptive birth that follows."

He continues, "And it's a great looking shirt, understated but plain in its supportive message. Hopefully men who wear it will feel a sense of solidarity, and those who see it can experience a sense of hope."

To add to the inclusive message, there is even a rainbow T-shirt for kids.

Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer
Courtesy of Bryn Huntpalmer

They are also encouraging dads to share their stories and photos on social media using the #RainbowDad hashtag to help break the silence surrounding the topic, and to let other men know that they aren't alone.

(H/T: Scary Mommy)

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