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 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 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
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  • 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:

    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:

    As a father, how can I cope with grief after a SIDS death?

    The most important thing is to acknowledge your pain and not try to hide or run away from it. Our society tends to put men in a supporting role when it comes to the death of a baby, but you are grieving too. You loved this baby and had planned for a lifetime of memories with him or her. Following are...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Are there benefits to co-sleeping?

    Scientific studies have demonstrated that bed sharing between baby and mother can alter sleep patterns of mother and baby. These studies have led to a speculation in the lay press that bed sharing or “co-sleeping” may also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). While bed sharing...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    How are SIDS deaths investigated?

    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:

    Is SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) ever misdiagnosed?

    Research has indicated that a small percentage of cases originally believed to be Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) were actually caused by a metabolic disorder. Experts agree that misdiagnoses account for a very small percentage of SIDS deaths. In a 2005 policy statement, the American Academy...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:

    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:

    Should all babies be placed on their backs to sleep?

    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. While medical conditions that warrant tummy sleeping once your baby is at home are rare, please consult your doctor if you are concerned. Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Is it safe for my baby to sleep in my bed?

    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:

    What is the Back to Sleep campaign?

    The Back to Sleep campaign is aptly named for its main recommendation to place healthy infants on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The lead partners in this campaign include the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), American...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    If my baby doesn't kick for a long time, should I call the doctor?

    If you are worried about your baby, you should always ask your doctor for advice. But there are certain situations when you should call your doctor right away. Don’t wait until the next day to call:
    • If you notice a drastic change in the amount of kicks or type of movements your baby is making.
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Does smoking increase the risk of SIDS?

    Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are three times more likely to have a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) baby, and exposure to passive smoke from smoking by mothers, fathers, and others around the baby after its born doubles their risk of SIDS. Parents should be sure to keep their babies in a smoke-free environment....Read More