There is nothing that can compare to the pain of losing a child. It’s an experience that stays with a parent forever, so it’s no wonder many mothers and fathers who suffer miscarriages decide to get a lasting memento of their loss. Miscarriage tattoos are a permanent and beautiful way of keeping a part of your lost baby close forever. They’re unique and can be personalised in whatever way you want.
It’s a fitting way to celebrate their short lives, to keep them in your heart, whether you go big and bold or small and discreet. Each tattoo is a personal piece of what it means to be a parent.
Infant loss and miscarriage is an understandably difficult topic to bring up, but it’s so important to get the conversation going. Ultimately these experiences shape the rest of your life. So, it’s vital to talk and support each other – you’re not alone.
Obviously, a miscarriage tattoo can be whatever you want it to be - however you want to remember your angel baby. There are some familiar symbols that come up - here are a few of them and the meaning behind them:
1. The baby loss awareness ribbon
The infant loss ribbon is pink and blue, and is a symbol for promoting baby loss awareness, including loss during and after pregnancy, stillbirth, miscarriage, neonatal death and SIDS.
The first Baby Loss Awareness Day in the UK took place on 15 October 2002, initiated by a small group of parents, including 2 Sands parents, inspired by Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States.
Through the sale of handmade blue and pink ribbon pins they raised several thousand pounds for UK organisations supporting bereaved parents. Today, as well as the original ribbon, you can also purchase enamel pins with the pink and blue logo to show your support of BLAW, and help raise funds to research baby loss and miscarriage.
This instagram image, shared by Beneath The Skin Tattoo (@beneaththeskintattoos) on Jul 29 2020 shows a lovely version of the Baby Loss Awareness ribbon, including two other powerful baby loss symbols: the feather and bird.
2. Angel wings
A tattoo of angel wings symbolises guidance, protection, hope, and faith, but also the sense of loss. Another meaning associated with angel wings is of rebirth and reincarnation - making them very fitting an meaningful for a miscarriage tattoo.
This incredibly beautiful tattoo also signifies innocence, perseverance, resilience, love, and transformation.
Post shared by Cherry Xzhao (@cherryxzhao)
Have you ever heard the saying that when you see a white feather it means that an angel or a lost loved one is nearby? That's why a feather design is also a popular tattoo choice to mark baby loss.
Some cultures and civilisations view feathers as messages from the spirit world.
Shared by Louise Flynn (@louiseflynnart)
Birds flying away from a branch are a popular meaningful miscarriage tattoo as it depicts the lost infant flying away.
A flying flock of birds symbolises freedom of the soul and the mind, and represents life and constant motion - a fitting and strong tribute.
Emma Davies (@emmaparis) shared this image on 29 May 2020, sharing it's meaning with the following caption: "I have always loved flying birds. When I lost 3 babies to miscarriage it took a toll on me. When we suffer miscarriage we leave the hospital with nothing to remember them. Thanks to @feelinktattoo I have my three babies with me forever. As my family looks on from the branch my babies fly higher then we can imagine. Until we meet again in heaven."
5. Infinity symbol
The infinity symbol, a figure eight on its side, signifies the concept of neverending love. The infinity symbol holds a deep meaning for spirituality, love, beauty, and power. In a world filled with distraction and complications, the infinity symbol represents a sense of simplicity and balance.
It reminds us to be conscious of where we are and the endless possibilities we have before us.
A post shared by Amy Chapman (@amylou751) on 17 May 2020: "On this day last year I was in the car on the way to my first pregnancy scan after having barely slept due to being so excited. Nothing on this planet could have prepared me for the look on the ladies face as she scanned me silently and then turned to me and said 'I’m so sorry Amy there’s no heartbeat'. In that moment my entire world fell apart.
"To any woman who has experienced this loss who is reading this, it’s ok to not be ok. Today I carry the tattoo on my arm that lays next to my heart, to remind me of the 2 babies I lost last year. While they give me some small comfort neither of these things will ever replace the yearning I had and still have to hold my baby in my arms - I hold them in my heart instead of my arms."
6. Mother and child
This tattoo is a beautifully simple depiction of a pregnant mother and baby. Sammy Patnett (@sammy_patnett) shared this image on 9 Jul 2020, along with her story: "It’s 2 years this month since we last had a miscarriage. 2 years of secondary infertility. 2 years of waiting for a rainbow while being stuck in the rain. Sometimes I think I would go back to a time where we never got pregnant, never lost babies, never felt the heartbreak that we have.
"But it’s not true, I would do it all again just to feel the love for bump and Chris that I felt, even just for a short time. You’ll always be my greatest ‘what if’."
As every flower has a different meaning, they are a pretty and poignant was to commemorate your lost baby. Popular floral designs include roses - a classic symbol of love, and forget-me-nots - a delicate little flower that represents true love and means you will never forget the person you gift it to.
Liz Alvarez (@lizalvarezart) recently tattooed this perfect peony - symbolizing love - to mark a client's baby loss, along with a meaningful quote along the stem.
We also love this tattoo, of a Poppy, which @Beautifulblestmess got to commemorate their loss.
"A symbol of rest-fullness and peace in death. The flower for August. August: the month in which we was supposed to meet our little one. This tattoo is much more than just ink. It’s a lovely reminder that you are just as beautiful as these simple flowers. Just as precious as the delicate petals. You are and always will be my baby. My world. I can’t wait to meet you. Until then, you’ll be with me forever. Mommy loves you."
The below tattoo uses little delicate flower stems to create the Baby Loss Awareness ribbon:
Shannae Mansfield (@shannaechlo) shared it on 20 Jul, 2020: "My heart aches as I no longer get to carry you and watch you grow. I carry so much guilt but I know you had a reason to go to heaven. I will always love you. I wanted you to be with me forever and wasnt sure how to do it. So I got a tattoo my way of coping and moving forward. Huge thanks to @threeeyedwolf for doing this for me, it means a lot."
8. Meaningful quote
Of course, sometimes a symbol just isn't enough - and there's no other way to show how you feel than with words.
@lizaplantygram shared her miscarriage tattoo, with these words: "This October has been very hard. This month is also Pregnancy & Infant loss awareness month. This is also the month we would’ve been bringing home our baby. October 13th was my due date. I keep thinking back to my miscarriage. It doesn’t feel like it’s been months since it happened. I still remember that pain. We think about our baby all the time. I carried you every second of your life and I will love you every second of mine."
Footprints symbolise what we leave behind; they are a mark, an indentation. They indicate that someone has been here before, walking beside you - but they are no longer there. They reference the past, absence, and spiritual rather than physical presence.
We love this footprint tattoo, which also uses the miscarriage ribbon, shared by NolieA (@nolie1990).
Nolie said: "This year, my little one would be turning 4 in October but instead I will light a candle by myself. There is a silent grief that I carry every single day. My miscarriage is a part of me but it does not define me. I have it tattooed on my wrist as a daily reminder of the strength I have in myself to keep myself above water."
A rainbow baby is a name coined for a healthy baby born after losing a baby due to miscarriage, infant loss, stillbirth, or neonatal death. The name “rainbow baby” comes from the idea of a rainbow appearing in the sky after a storm, or after a dark and turbulent time.
It's a symbol of hope, that is also very meaningful for a memorial tattoo. @faithjohnsentattoo shared the below rainbow tattoo she created for a client: "A memorial tattoo for her twins. From one mother to another, these are some of the most meaningful tattoos I get to do."
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