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:

    How should child care providers prepare for SIDS emergencies?

    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:

    How can I lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)?

    A few ways to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are breastfeeding your baby, not smoking during pregnancy, ensuring good prenatal care, ensuring proper antenatal health care and reviewing proper sleep habits with your child care provider.
    • Recent research provides the strongest
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    How should I count my baby's kicks during pregnancy?

    Try to do your kick count about the same time every day. Pick a time of day when you know your baby is active. The best time is after you eat a snack or meal. Sit in a chair with your feet up or lay down on your side. Make sure your baby is awake. If you are not sure, try pushing on your tummy. Walking...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    How should I put my baby to sleep to help prevent SIDS?

    Here are some lifesaving steps parents and caregivers can take to help protect babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS):
    • Placing babies on their backs to sleep is the single most important step that parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of SIDS.
    • Babies should sleep in a crib
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    How do parents usually react to a SIDS death?

    Because Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) deaths occur unexpectedly, nearly every parent feels in some way responsible for the baby’s death until the facts are explained. Emotions that may be experienced include sadness, guilt, anger and fear.
      
    Parents may blame themselves for something they did or neglected to do....Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What causes SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)?

    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:

    How do I use a kick count chart during pregnancy?

    Using a kick count chart is easy! Make sure you note the day you begin counting, your due date and the time of day you will be counting at the top of the chart. Remember, each twist, turn, swish, roll or jab counts as one kick! When you have performed your kick count for Day 1, simply check the box that cor...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    When is SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) most likely to occur?

    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death in babies one month to one year of age. Most SIDS deaths occur when a baby is between two and four months and 90% of SIDS victims die before six months. The risk of SIDS diminishes after six months. The diagnosis of SIDS is not commonly...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Why is tummy time helpful for my baby?

    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:

    When and how should I give my baby a pacifier?

    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
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Is it okay for my baby to sleep on her side?

    In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended both the side and the back sleeping position to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In 1996, however, after reviewing data from various new studies, they revised their recommendation to back sleeping as the only safe...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    How can a baby's death affect the parents' relationship?

    Many people think that the death of a baby will bring parents closer together. This is not always true. The death of a baby can place tremendous stress on your relationship. But with genuine care, concern and respect for each other’s feelings and grief reactions, you can come through this experience...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Why should I breastfeed?

    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:

    Can breastfeeding help prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)?

    We know that breastfeeding has been shown to be good for babies by building their immunity against illness and infections, in addition to other benefits. Recent research provides the strongest evidence to date that breastfeeding may also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Mothers...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Do mothers and fathers grieve a SIDS death in the same way?

    Mothers and fathers express their grief in different ways. This fact is not always understood. For instance, mothers generally need to “talk out” their grief, while fathers tend to suffer in silence.

    Parents working outside the home are diverted by their work, while parents working as homemakers are surrounded...Read More