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 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...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

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

    Recent research shows that pacifiers can greatly reduce a baby’s risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Experts recommend providing your baby with a pacifier EVERY time he or she is placed down to sleep.

    While the exact safety mechanism is not yet known, there are many possibilities for this...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What is the difference between co-sleeping, room sharing and bed sharing?

    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...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Can home monitors help prevent SIDS?

    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...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What causes a baby to be stillborn?

    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:

    What are the most difficult times to deal with after a SIDS death?

    In the beginning, the day of the week and the hour your baby died will be the most difficult times. After a while, the date of death in each month will have significance. Later it will stretch out to other dates such as your baby’s birthday or the anniversary of your baby’s death. Holidays and other family...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What tests can be done if my baby isn't kicking enough?

    Once you report decreased activity, your doctor should have you come to the office or go directly to your hospital’s labor and delivery unit. There are other tests that can be done to check on your baby’s health. For example:
    • Nonstress test - monitoring your baby’s heart rate in response to its
    ...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 that
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What is the triple risk model for SIDS?

    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:

    Can vaccines prevent or cause SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)?

    At the current time, no vaccination exists that will prevent SIDS. Conversely, no vaccination has ever been found to cause SIDS. SIDS has been documented to occur in infants who never received any immunizations. In addition, it should be noted that the peak incidence period for SIDS -- between 2...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Can SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) be inherited?

    At this time there is no direct link to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and genetic predisposition. Metabolic disorders, which can be inherited, have at times been mistaken for SIDS.

    One such disorder, medium chain acylCoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCAD), prevents the infant from properly pr...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    How common are bad reactions to vaccines in children?

    There is a possibility of reacting to vaccines. However, most reactions are usually mild. While we are aware that serious adverse outcomes such as high fever, seizures, convulsions and even death -- though rare -- may occur in a very few children, the risk of leaving a child unprotected against such...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Is it safe to use a wedge or pillow in my baby's crib?

    It is never a good idea to have any kind of wedge or pillow in your baby's crib. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has stated that devices designed to maintain sleep position are not recommended since they have not been sufficiently tested for their safety. It is important to know that no such...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    How can I reduce my risk of having a stillborn baby?

    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 drugs
    ...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 one
    ...Read More