By Holly Schepisi Vice President of Development, Holy Name Medical Center President, Holy Name Medical Center Foundation New Jersey has long been a leader in healthcare delivery, except for maternal and infant health, particularly among African Americans. The racial disparity in maternal and infant health is the widest in the nation as African American mothers […]

By Jennifer Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer MAM North America, Maker of Pacifiers and Other Baby Products Pacifiers have long been used to soothe babies, and studies have shown that their use when putting a baby down to sleep can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Offering a baby a pacifier at […]

Every year as many as 15 percent of babies born in the U.S. – more than 500,000 infants  – spend some time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for a variety of conditions, primarily prematurity. Breast milk helps all newborns grow strong, protecting them from infection and illness and significantly reducing the risk of […]

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Abby Lundy to the position of Director of Development and Community Outreach. The success of our Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep program in various states is due to the strong connections we’ve been able to develop within the community.  Building trusting relationships is key and we’re […]

Recently the work accomplished at the 3rd International Congress on Sudden Infant & Child Death held in Boston November 2018 was published in Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology.  Barb Himes, First Candle’s Director of Bereavement and Education, took part in this important event where a consensus was reached on the terminology for definitions on Sudden […]

September is Baby Safety Month and, while there is a great deal of focus on the prevention of accidents, the first priority should be the prevention of accidental suffocation which is a sleep-related infant death. While the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), another sleep-related infant death, has been falling, the number of babies […]

Please join us in welcoming Nik Patel to our Board of Directors.  Patel is the Head of Information Technology for Plexal in London, England, which offers a co-working environment for the tech innovation sector. His responsibilities include overseeing IT strategy for the firm, including security and risk management. “We’re very pleased to have Nik join […]

Bode Boeckman may be the youngest person taking part in training for the NYC Marathon. At just five months old, he’s been present for every mile his mom covers as she prepares for the big day. “I agreed to run the marathon when I was just one or two months post-partum,” said Molly Waitz, 27, […]

As World Breastfeeding Week 2019 comes to a close, we at First Candle are committed to continuing our efforts toward supporting the key theme of this year’s event: Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding.  The message of empowerment is critical, carrying with it the importance of support for all parents whose goal is to breastfeed their babies. […]

Four years ago, Melissa Reichman’s sister, Ashley, was pregnant with twins. Toward the end of her pregnancy, her blood pressure began to climb and she had to be admitted to the hospital. Melissa, who is a doctor, was relieved when her sister told her all was finally under control and she would be discharged. But […]

Often people think I’m the Founder of First Candle.  I’m not.  I’m just one of the nearly 80,000 parents whose babies have died from SIDS or accidental suffocation in the past 22 years.  I’m not the only person at First Candle who’s lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Our Director of Bereavement and […]

As the CEO of First Candle I speak with hundreds of families who have lost a baby due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation and stillbirth.  Their grief is beyond description.  It is all-encompassing and they can’t imagine surviving.  I know – I was one of those parents 22 years ago when my […]

On Sunday, November 3rd, our team of runners will test their endurance running in the New York City Marathon.  Each one of them has their own reason for running and we’d like to introduce you to them because they are truly inspirational.  It has been 10 years since William Thomas Ellerbrock, age nine-and-a-half weeks, was […]

It has been 10 years since William Thomas Ellerbrock, age nine-and-a-half weeks, was dropped off for his second day of daycare and put down for a nap. It has been 10 years since baby William never woke up. It has been 10 years, but not a day goes by that his parents – Matthew and […]

2019 TCS New York City Marathon Sponsor Stamford Health has awarded a $2,500 sponsorship in support of First Candle, which is an Official Charity Partner of the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon, according to First Candle CEO Alison Jacobson. “We’re honored to have Stamford Health’s support for Team First Candle in this year’s marathon,” Jacobson […]

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and accidental suffocation claim the lives of over 3,600 babies every year in this country.  These numbers haven’t moved in years and the racial disparity is great.   The rates of SIDS and accidental suffocation are nearly three times higher among black babies.  Why?  We know that by adopting the safe sleep […]

The death of a baby is the most devastating events a parent will ever experience.  The death touches more than just the parents however.  Grandparents, other family members, friends and even community members are impacted.  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age […]

At First Candle we offer bereavement support services to families who have lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), other sleep-related infant deaths, still birth and miscarriage.  We have a 24-hour grief line, bereavement materials, volunteer peer-support providers and, most importantly our online support groups.  While our online groups are large and active, […]

Natasha Ray, M.S., has been appointed to the Board of Directors of New Canaan-based First Candle, it was announced by CEO Alison Jacobson and Board Chair David Cunningham. Ray is the Core Services Manager for the New Haven Healthy Start Program at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. She has been with New Haven […]

The greatest fear for any parent is something happening to their child.  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) especially strikes fear into the heart of every parent since it’s the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age and its cause continues to remain a mystery.  There is a great deal […]

Baby in safe sleep environment

Five Contact Hours Available to Nurses First Candle, the national non-profit committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths has now been approved for accreditation of their Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep training program.  SIDS remains the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age […]

This week the American Academy of Pediatrics released a study about the danger of babies sleeping in car seats.  The study looked at sleep-related infant deaths when babies were in a “sitting device” such as a stroller, bouncer, swing, inclined sleeper or car seat. A 10-year study of 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths showed that 348 […]

At First Candle one of the cornerstones of our work is providing bereavement support to families who have lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths as well as stillbirth.  We have a 24-hour grief-line, peer support counselors, online support groups and bereavement books and articles.  We often have […]

A new report was released today in the Public Health Reports: SAGE Journals looking at the safety and efficacy of baby boxes. Baby boxes are cardboard boxes that were first used in Finland for infants to sleep in during naps and at nighttime as part of an initiative to reduce the rate of Sudden Infant […]

First Candle, the national non-profit committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths, has once again been named an Official Charity Partner of the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon. The race will take place on Sunday, November 3, 2019.  For those runners who did not get a bib through the lottery, […]

This week Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) introduced a bill to reduce the United States’ rising maternal mortality rates, improve maternal and infant health outcomes, and close the disparities that continue to put mothers and children of color at risk. The bill, the Maximizing Outcomes for Moms through Medicaid Improvement and […]

Father’s Day is often a lonely day for me.  I feel isolated, like I don’t belong, but for me that’s been the case for the last 14 years.  Honestly, I do not know how to recognize the day, but I try my best. I make it a point to reach out to my dad on […]

Child Care Checklist – Infant Safe Sleep As you look for child care outside your home, there are many things to consider.  This guide will help you assess two important aspects of child care, infant safe sleep and breastfeeding, as you decide who will care for your baby.  Please keep in mind, this has a […]

My wife and I had been planning to have a child for some time, before we decided when was the right moment to start building a family. The day Barbara called me at work to tell me she was pregnant, I already had a feeling what the call was about. I suddenly felt a surge […]

Theravive is a network of licensed therapists and psychologists committed to helping people receive the best mental health care available.  Through building bridges with others, we continually strive to lower mental health stigma.

For moms who have lost a baby to due Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, stillbirth or miscarriage holidays are never easy. Probably one of the most difficult is Mother’s Day. My son was born in April of 1997 and died from SIDS August of the same year. For one year I had my baby with me […]

Loving Hands

Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) is common, distressing and persistent in mothers whose infants have died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and have lasting implications for their health and well-being.  This comes from a study released today in Pediatrics that was conducted by Dr. Rick Goldstein, Program Director, Robert’s Program on Sudden Unexpected Death in […]

Flower planting ceremony to take place at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, CT   On Saturday May 12th First Candle will hold a flower planting ceremony at Calf Pasture in Norwalk, CT to honor mothers who have lost babies due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths, stillbirth and miscarriage.  First Candle is […]

              First Candle Named an Official Charity Partner of the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon Set for Sunday, November 4, 2018  New York, February 14, 2018 – First Candle was named an Official Charity Partner of the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon, it was announced today by […]

Yesterday the American Academy of Pediatrics released a new report with the troubling finding that not only have declines in SIDS rates slowed but in some states they have actually increased.  What’s more, the report found that from 1999 through 2015, infant death rates from accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed surged 184 percent. The […]

  Grant Supports Charity’s Mission of Saving Babies’ Lives  January 30, 2018 – New Canaan, CT – On Saturday Alison Jacobson, the Executive Director of First Candle, attended the Mid-Winter Conference of the American Legion’s Connecticut Chapter where she accepted the first half of a $16,000.00 Child Welfare Grant.  First Candle is the national non-profit […]

  Join First Candle for a virtual mini-retreat to help guide you through life after infant loss.  You are free to just quietly listen in or join in the Q & A.  You can attend this free event from anywhere with wifi. Grab a cup of tea and a notebook and learn what works to: […]

While the rate of infant mortality due to SIDS has been declining, the rates for non-Hispanic Black infants are still twice as high as that for non-Hispanic White infants.  Additionally, the rate for other sleep-related infant deaths is more than three times that of non-Hispanic white infants.   In response to these staggering statistics, First […]

Facebook has expanded its set of online fundraising tools to include personal online fundraisers for its users. The new tool allows Facebook users to raise money for campaigns and causes, include memorials, birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. Nonprofits receive funds directly from Facebook every 15 days. Funds raised support our mission of eliminating SIDS, SUID, and […]

Although these holidays with my family bring a lot of joy for me.  I also have that little feeling of grief that sits deep in my heart.  Every time there is a fun day to celebrate with my children I wish I could also be celebrating with my little one who lives in heaven.  She […]

It was November 17, 2008, when I received the phone call at work that my baby was in the hospital and I needed to come to the emergency room. I asked the nurse on the phone if she was breathing and she would not answer. I already knew at that moment that she was gone. […]

First Candle has joined the Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge and #GivingTuesday, a fundraising competition on the global day of giving. #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. On #GivingTuesday, The Newman’s Own Foundation is awarding $85,000 to the top three organizations to […]

                Dear Supporters, Thanks to you, this year we: provided over 600 families with a safe place for their baby to sleep; educated over 5,000 daycare providers, social workers and parents on why placing babies alone in a crib with no blankets can reduce the risk of SIDS […]

My son, Dylan Robert, was born on November 2, 2010, at 38 weeks and was a happy and healthy baby boy. I had the pleasure of spending those first months of his life doing all the things new mothers do. I returned to work and put Dylan in daycare for a few days a week. […]

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. For those of us who have experienced the loss of a baby this video truly sums up the raw emotions we feel. It’s for these families that we will continue to fight to end SIDS, sleep-related infant death, and stillbirths. It’s also why we’re here – offering support […]

  October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Sunday, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. First Candle is joining forces with individuals, local, state and national organizations, as well as corporate and retail partners to increase awareness about these tragic causes of infant death. Shop these sites in October and you […]

  Join Team First Candle in New York City for a memorial walk and ceremony over the Brooklyn Bridge. The Walk is designed as a day of honor and motivation towards healing for families affected by perinatal and infant loss. It attracts people who are empathetic to the cause from all over the tri-state area each […]

Last week a study came out with the disturbing finding that less than half of parents surveyed consistently and exclusively put their baby on his or her back to sleep. This unfortunately supports the concern of First Candle that a large percentage of parents either believe that “SIDS has been solved” or that the risk of SIDS compared to […]

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Sunday, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. First Candle is joining forces with individuals, local, state and national organizations, as well as corporate and retail partners to increase awareness about these tragic causes of infant death. For those of us who have lost a […]

Miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss can be one of the most devastating and isolating experiences a parent can face. Thanks to a generous donor, we have started a lottery program to waive the lifetime membership fee to Open Path Collective. Your lifetime membership will allow you to receive psychotherapy sessions that range from $30 to $50 a […]

  Click here to purchase tickets.

By Missy Ortman, A Little Pink Lemonade For eight years we have had a yearly tradition of participating in a yearly walk/run in memory of babies lost too soon to SIDS.  Our “Pink Lemonade” team has been there since the run’s first year.  Our tradition each year was to take our family picture with Clara’s sign. […]

There are so many friends of First Candle who give in various ways. Kelly Farley is a dad who lost not one but two babies. He has channeled his grief into helping other fathers who come to him through our grief line and other organizations. We are so grateful to have him as a resource. The following is his […]

Summer is the perfect time to host a fundraiser and raise SIDS and stillbirth awareness. Download our First Candle How To Guide for Special Events and explore these fundraising activities for summer. Visit our Pinterest page for more ideas! Host a Block Party: Bring your community together to raise awareness! Learn how to organize one here. Film Showing: Show a family […]

  As the leading national non-profit organization committed to eliminating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths, we feel it’s important to respond to a new study on room sharing released today. The new study analyzed surveys from 230 first-time mothers who delivered at Penn State and found that babies slept for longer […]

On May 27, the family will hold a fundraising block party for the CJ First Candle, at “Legend’s Lemonade Stand.” For a $25 donation, lunch and lemonade will be provided from 2-7 p.m. at 315 W. 20th St. in Long Beach. To donate to Legend’s memorial fund, click here.  By Sandy Mazza, Daily Breeze POSTED: […]

A Twitter party is a live chat held on Twitter. Use the hashtag #SafeHealthySleep to join the conversation. We will be answering questions about safe sleep and crib safety, with prizes available!

Baby Boxes, free sturdy boxes with a firm mattress, a waterproof cover and a fitted sheet, are being provided to new parents in an effort to reduce infant mortality rates nationwide. These boxes are intended to serve as a safe sleep area when a traditional and recommended sleep area is not available to the parents.  As the […]

  For many women, May 14th, Mother’s Day, is an incredibly special time. Unfortunately, for some moms it’s a painful reminder of what might have been. Every year, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Stillbirth claim the lives of 27,000 babies. Together, we can change this. Show the mom, sister, friend in […]

Five-month-old Kaiya passed away in 2010 ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) – Karl Purvis wakes up everyday at 5 a.m. ready to hit the pavement. “I started doing 5k’s and all of the sudden one of my wife’s co-workers was like, I’m going to run a half marathon, would you train with me? And I was like […]

At First Candle we love to recognize companies that are getting the word out about the safest way for babies to sleep.  Check out this new video from our friends at The Boppy Company and pass it along!   For more information, visit:

For parents, family members and friends, the death of a baby is heartbreaking. Often times parents are asked where donations can be sent. First Candle is proud of its ongoing record of keeping administrative costs below the nonprofit standard of 25%. We guarantee that more than 75% of every dollar donated will go to support […]

Join CJ First Candle on May 6, 2017 for the First Annual Forsythia Classic – William’s Memorial Golf Tournament at Simsbury Farms Golf Course in Simsbury, CT. This memorial golf tournament is in honor of William Fountain. William passed away due to SIDS on May 7, 2013 — just five short days after his birth. All […]

It is Medication Safety Week and we interviewed Dr. Agnes Scoville, an emergency medicine doctor in Los Angeles, California, to discuss medication safety with babies. According to Dr. Scoville, “Many medical studies show that babies frequently get the wrong dose of medicine, in part because they spit it out. Up to 50% of babies receive the wrong […]

Congratulations to Barb Himes, CJ First Candle Director of Education and Training, on her Community Health Network Safety Award! Barb and her team from Community Hospital East in Indianapolis, IN, were awarded for their “Early Initiation of Pumping at Community East Maternity”. They developed a strategy to get mothers of all breastfed babies admitted to the […]

According to new safe sleep recommendations, infants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents – but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet, and never on a couch, armchair or soft surface — to decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths, according to new safe sleep recommendations and guidelines released by the […]