Mount Sinai – Rainbow Clinic
When parents have a stillborn child, it can be difficult to hope again or plan for another child—often called a “rainbow baby.” At the Mount Sinai – Rainbow Clinic, we understand. Women and their families who have had a stillborn child need emotional support, the most advanced medical attention, and someone to walk beside them—every step of the way.
The First Rainbow Clinic in the U.S.
The Rainbow Clinic at Mount Sinai has been established as a partnership with PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy, an organization that seeks to prevent stillbirth. The Clinic is led by Joanne Stone, MD, MS, System Chair, Ellen and Howard C. Katz Chair, Raquel and Jaime Gilinski Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Health System. Dr. Stone is a renowned physician-scientist in women’s health with special expertise in fetal imaging and caring for high-risk pregnancies.
The first Rainbow Clinic was established in the United Kingdom in 2013 by Alexander Heazell, MBChB (Hons) PhD MRCOG, an internationally recognized leader in stillbirth research, in an effort to provide specialized, standardized care to women and their families who have experienced a loss during pregnancy.
At the Mount Sinai – Rainbow Clinic, we follow the model established by Professor Heazell. The staff receive special training to be sensitive to the unique needs of bereaved parents. The Clinic itself is equipped to provide enhanced clinical care and psychological support to help reduce fear, anxiety, and future perinatal losses. We offer nutritional counseling, the support of social workers, genetic testing, and the very latest prenatal and obstetrical care.
Personalized Care for Each Expectant Mother
Every care program is customized around the needs of each patient and family based on a pre-conception consultation. We review the medical history with the patient and determine the cause of the previous stillbirth. Together, we develop a strategy for conception and pregnancy to achieve positive outcomes. All patients will be able to access a range of services, including mental health support, nutritional guidance, ultrasounds, and other tests during the progression of the pregnancy. Patients also have access to enhanced monitoring and fetal testing services, which can help guide the course of treatment and care.
At the Mount Sinai – Rainbow Clinic, we monitor the development of the unborn child more frequently than is typical. And women are encouraged to schedule appointments as often as they want, to minimize anxiety. We counsel women to get to know the movements of their fetus, whether patterns occur in the morning, afternoon, or evening. And if there is any deviation in that pattern, we underline the importance of coming in immediately for examination because timely intervention can make all the difference.
Together, We Can Prevent Stillbirths
About 23,000 pregnancies, or about one in 170 births, nationwide result in stillbirth each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In New York City, there are approximately 900 stillbirths each year. Data also shows that women of color are more likely to experience a stillbirth, with the risk among Black women twice as high as any other group. Moreover, women who have experienced stillbirth are almost five times as likely to experience another stillbirth or severe maternal complication. But with greater awareness, support, and high-quality care, studies have found that more than a quarter of stillbirths in the United States are preventable.
At the Mount Sinai – Rainbow Clinic, we are involved in extensive research to learn more about the causes of stillbirth and are collaborating with the Rainbow Clinic in the U.K. to standardize data-collection procedures and share data. Through this research we are able to better understand the factors that lead complications in pregnancy and to provide outstanding clinical care to support more successful outcomes.