First Candle

Our Mission

First Candle is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to safe pregnancies and the survival of babies through the first years of life. Our priority is to eliminate Stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) with programs of research, education and advocacy. First Candle also provides 24/7 bereavement support for grieving families.

Activity

  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    You should give your baby as much “tummy time” as possible when he or she is awake and being supervised. This will help strengthen your baby’s neck and upper body muscles. Begin by laying your newborn on his or her tummy, across your lap. As your baby gets stronger, place him or her on a quilt on the floor...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    A recent major breakthrough in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) research has provided the most concrete evidence to date that SIDS is not the mystery we once thought. Ongoing research studies by Dr. Hannah Kinney at the SIDS Center of Excellence at Harvard University have identified abnormalities in...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    Recent advances in medical research shows us that babies who die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may not be as healthy as we once thought. Scientists have uncovered an abnormality in the brainstem of SIDS victims that make them vulnerable to sudden, unexpected death.

    While there is still...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    Much research has been done to investigate the effectiveness of monitors in preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In the 1970s and early 1980s, it was thought that monitoring had promise in identifying infants at risk for SIDS and signaling caregivers when infants have life-threatening events that...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    A death scene investigation is an integral part of a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SIDS/SUID) diagnosis to rule out accidental, environmental and unnatural causes and to provide information to researchers on risk factors.

    In 2004 the Centers for Disease Control...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    If a child dies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), child care providers should:
    • Inform parents of other children in your care that an emergency occurred and offer them information about children and bereavement.
    • Debrief your staff and offer support and information on SIDS and bereavement
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    Stillbirth is the death of an infant in-utero at 20 or more completed gestational weeks. More than 25,000 babies are stillborn in the United States each year; that's 70 babies each and every day.
    • Almost 50% of these deaths occur at or near full term and often seem to be otherwise healthy babies.
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    While studies into potential prevention strategies for stillbirth are ongoing, following are some helpful strategies for pregnant women to follow to help reduce the risk of stillbirth:
    • Begin to monitor your baby’s activity at around 28 weeks. Kicks count!
    • Do not smoke, drink alcohol or use
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the diagnosis given for the sudden death of a baby under one year of age that remains unexplained after a complete investigation, including an autopsy, examination of the death scene and review of the symptoms or illnesses the baby had prior to dying and any...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    There is mounting evidence that suggests many Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) babies are born with brain abnormalities that make them vulnerable to sudden death during infancy. Studies of SIDS victims reveal abnormalities in the “arcuate nucleus,” a portion of the brain that controls most of the ba...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    Although Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) does not occur often -- it happens in approximately 77 of every 100,000 live births per year in this country -- it is important for child care providers to be prepared in case of an emergency situation involving an unresponsive infant. Similar to practicing...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    Co-sleeping is a term used by many as an umbrella for anything from bed sharing to room sharing and anything in between. It is a vague term that is very confusing for parents. This confusion can be cleared up by using two distinct terms, bed sharing and room sharing.

    Bed sharing is the practice of falling...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    Adult beds are not safe for sleeping babies for the following reasons:
    • Soft bedding, such as pillows, blankets and quilts increase your baby’s risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation.
    • Adults or other children in the bed can accidentally roll too close to or onto your baby
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    Breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for babies. It has been shown to be good for babies by building their immunity against illness and infections. If you can, give your baby only breast milk for at least the first six months. Breastfeeding also gives you lots of time to cuddle and bond with your baby....Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:
    Following are some guidelines regarding the use of pacifiers. It is important to know that research shows pacifiers can greatly reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
    • Offer a pacifier at nap time and nighttime. This will give your baby the most protection against SIDS.
    • Wait
    ...Read More