Breastfeeding

First Candle’s position on new protocol from Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) has recently issued a 2019 revised protocol around the benefits and risks of bedsharing for breastfeeding mothers and their infants. First Candle realizes this may raise questions for some families,…
brian scruton

Brian Scruton Joins First Candle Board of Directors

Brian Scruton 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. Mr. Scruton is a director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Leasing…
First Candle
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Message to grieving parents – It gets better..somewhat

16 years ago my son died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  He was 3 mos. and 24 days old.  That day, I wasn’t sure how, or even if, I wanted to survive.  I hardly remember anything from the days leading up to his memorial service and…

Reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality: How Medicaid Expansion Can Help

The United States is often assumed to be one of the safest places in the world in which to give birth. But the truth is, national maternal mortality rates have been steadily climbing for decades. In fact, the prevalence of pregnancy-related…

Pacifiers Promote Safe Sleep

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…
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Breaking Down Barriers for Moms and Babies

By Holly Schepisi Vice President of Vice Development, Holy Name…

Mathew's Story

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…

The best way to move beyond grief? Do something.

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…
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Matthew Ellerbrock, a SIDS dad and our NYC Marathon runner

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…

2019 TCS New York City Marathon Runner with a SIDS Campaign

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…
First Candle
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First Candle Welcomes The Boppy Company Support Of Its Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep Program

Longtime donor The Boppy Company has confirmed its 2019 support for First Candle and their mission of reducing the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths according to First Candle CEO Alison Jacobson.  The…
Stamford Health Supports First Candle

Stamford Health Supports Team First Candle

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…
Black Families and SIDS
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Why black families aren’t getting messages about safe sleep and SIDS

  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…
Coping-with-the-loss-of-a-baby-to-SIDS

Bereavement support for a SIDS loss is critical

  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…
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When a baby dies, dads are often forgotten

  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…
natasha ray

Please welcome Natasha Ray to the First Candle Board of Directors

  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…

How to Prevent Infant Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB)

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…
Baby in safe sleep environment
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First Candle’s SIDS and Safe Sleep Training Program Now Accredited

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…
How long is it safe for a baby to sleep in a car seat?

How long is it safe for a baby to sleep in a car seat?

  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,…
Grieving parents

What Every Parent Whose Baby Has Died Wants You to Know

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,…
Baby Box
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New Report Concludes No Evidence That Baby Boxes Are Safe or Effective in Reducing SIDS

  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…

2019 TCS New York City Marathon Bibs to Benefit Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Charity

  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…
MOMMIES Act
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First Candle Supports MOMMIES Act to Improve Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes

  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…

Mother’s Day Jewelry for Bereaved Moms Who Are #alwaysamom

Once again, Natalie Kroft with Keep Collective has generously teamed up with First Candle and created some very special Mother’s Day jewelry.  Various pieces are available that can be inscribed with “Always A Mom.” “For…

Please welcome our new First Candle Ambassadors

This weekend was an exciting time for our team. Over the weekend we conducted a two-day training with three women who will now be First Candle Ambassadors and conduct our Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep Trainings. We are proud to introduce…
NYC Marathon Bibs

Bibs for the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon Available Through First Candle

First Candle 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, they can secure…
Byron Johnson

Byron Johnson Joins First Candle Board of Directors

We’re pleased to announce that Byron Johnson, a public relations and issues advocacy professional, has joined the First Candle Board of Directors.  With nearly 20 years of experience creating and implementing awareness and social marketing…
grieving

Parental Bereavement Leave Act - Please Show Your Support

The loss of a child is devastating and leaves parents incapable of functioning for many weeks.  They need time to grieve and to begin healing.  First Candle is proud to support the Parental Bereavement Leave Act, prompted by The Farley-Kluger…
First Candle

Statement from Alison Jacobson, CEO and Executive Director, First Candle

New Canaan, CT – The following is a statement from First Candle CEO and Executive Director Alison Jacobson regarding NICHD’s decision to release a strategic plan that excludes resources to battle SIDS. “The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National…
Holidays

Help for a Grieving Parent at the Holidays

For those of us who have lost a child the holidays are always a difficult time.  Sure, we put on a good act for our other kids and even our family because, to be honest, they couldn’t handle our grief year after year.  After several years,…
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Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding Forum

New and energetic channels of communications between federal and regional groups opened up on November 5 when First Candle hosted a day-long Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding Forum at Stamford Hospital, fostering new relationships to help advance…
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Infant safe sleep - what I wish everyone knew

Last week I was at a meeting of my book club – my bookclub is like everyone else’s – we get together so that we talk about everything BUT that book we all didn’t read. Our club is made up of a group of women who are connected kind of…

Important Legislation for SIDS

We at First Candle are reaching out to let you know of a promising piece of legislation now under review by the U.S. Congress, focused on improving resources devoted to improving better understanding and awareness around unexpected sudden…
DaysForDylan
Halo Sleep

Halo joins First Candle’s Safe Sleep Guardian Program

We ‘re so excited when companies and influencers are willing to help spread the word about infant safe sleep in order to reduce the rate of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths such as accidental suffocation. Halo, a long-time supporter…
First Candle safe sleep guardian

First Candle Launches Safe Sleep Guardian Campaign

Five Companies Earn the Designation by Committing to Only Showing Babies in a Safe Sleep Environment   September 12, 2018, New Canaan, Conn. -- First Candle, the national non-profit organization committed to ending Sudden Infant Death…

Dress Your Baby #Safe2Sleep

Dress Your Baby #Safe2Sleep 

First Candle’s Straight Talk Training Improves Knowledge of Safe Sleep Guidelines

In early August Barb Himes, First Candle’s Director of Education and Training, spoke at the 46th annual conference of the National Black Nurses Association, presenting an overview of our Straight Talk for Infant Sleep program, which follows…
John Cianella

Neonatologist John F. Ciannella joins First Candle Board of Directors

We are thrilled to announce that John F. Ciannella, MD has joined the First Candle Board of Directors. Dr. Ciannella is a fellowship-trained and board-certified neonatologist who since 2008 cares for newborn infants, specifically, babies…

Walk or Run, it’s Fun and Fundraising at the 2018 Bella Rose Strides for Babies 5K

Saturday, August 4, 2018 was a beautiful morning for this year’s Bella Rose Strides for Babies 5K held in Cary, NC in memory of Bella Rose Diaz, daughter of Mike and Amy Diaz, who died from SIDS in May 2011. Adults, kids and dogs all lined…
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Breastfeeding Significantly Reduces the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

This week is World Breastfeeding Week and at First Candle we are actively working to get the message out about the benefits of breastfeeding.  This is something we discuss in our Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep programs and were surprised…

Black Nurses Conference

First Candle Presents Overview of Safe Sleep Program at Black Nurses Conference Last week First Candle’s Director of Education and Training attended the National Black Nurses Association, Black Nurses Conference and presented an overview…
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2018 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS & Baby Survival - Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep

In June 2018,  Barbara Himes, our Director of Education and Training, attended the 2018 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and Baby Survival in Glasgow, Scotland, where she presented our program, Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep,…
Pregnancy

Why woman are still dying during childbirth in the USA

According to a USA TODAY investigative report released in July 2018, thousands of women every year suffer serious injury or death during childbirth due to ignored safety practices, making it especially important that women take an active interest…
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Protecting infants from sleep-related deaths

Why has no substantial progress been made in preventing sleep-related infant deaths? Approximately 3700 infants (aged 1 year) have died each year in the past 15 years, most of whom died before age 6 months. No recent breakthrough has occurred…

Father’s Day – Avoiding the Gleeful Masses

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…
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CCAT Child Care Checklist

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…
Da's Grieve Too

Dad's Grieve Too - Stephan's Story

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.…
Mothers Day

Five Tips for Managing Mother’s Day When Your Baby’s in Heaven

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…
Loving Hands
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Study Identifies Unique Long-Term Grief Experienced by SIDS Moms

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…
mothers day memorial

First Candle to Host Memorial Event in Honor of Mother’s Day

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…

First Candle Named an Official Charity Partner of the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon

              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…

Infant Deaths from Accidental Suffocation Can Be Prevented

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…

American Legion Awards Grant to Non-Profit First Candle

  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…

Calm & Comfort Retreat - Guidance for Life After Baby Loss

  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…

Program Spotlight: Straight Talk For Infant Safe Sleep

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…
facebook fundraiser

How to create a Facebook Fundraiser

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.…

Why We Put #GivingFirst: "When you lose a baby you feel very alone at first"

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…

Why We Put #GivingFirst: "She's not replaceable"

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…

First Candle Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement with #GivingFirst Camapign

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…

Here’s why we’re thankful for you this year

                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,…

When Life Changed Forever -- Remembering Dylan Robert McEwen

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…

Shop These Sites in October and You'll Be Supporting First Candle's Mission

  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…
baby steps

Join us for NYC's Annual Baby Steps Walk

  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…
Straight Talk for Safe Sleep

We Need to Start Talking About SIDS

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…

Get Involved this October for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

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…
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Therapy Within Reach, Apply Now

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…

Missing a Special Day

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…

A Message From A Grieving Father...

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…

8 Summer Fundraising Ideas

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! …
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First Candle Supports Room Sharing to Reduce Risk of SIDS

  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…

Diplomas help turn tragedy into triumph at Cal State Dominguez Hills

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…

Join us on 5/25 for #SafeHealthySleep Twitter Party

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!
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Baby Boxes - What Parents Must Know

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…

We Want Every Mom To Hear The Words "Happy Mother's Day"

  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…
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A father is running a marathon to raise money and awareness for SIDS after losing his daughter

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…

Boppy Shows Parents What Safe Sleep Should Look 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…

Starting A With Us Forever Memorial

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…
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Join Us For The First Annual Forsythia Classic in Simsbury, CT

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…

It Is Medication Safety Week! Learn How to Give Medicine to a Baby

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…
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The Rate of SIDS drops…but there’s still work to do

Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report announcing that infant mortality rates have dropped by 15% and the rate of SIDS by 29%.  That’s a huge success for those of us working in the field of infant health and…
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Our Director of Education, Barb Himes, Wins Award!

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…

Safe Sleep Recommendations reduce risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths

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…