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 you to Jen Ciannella, Carol Jordan and Dauline Singletary. Each has a public health or nursing background and additionally Carol is a SIDS mom.

Our program has been extremely successful and requests for our training have been increasing. We love Barb Himes, our Director of Education and Bereavement, but even a superwoman like her needs help!

Over the course of the weekend our newly-trained Ambassadors learned how our program is different from past efforts to educate people on the importance of safe sleep in reducing the rates of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths. Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep is a train-the-trainer program that partners with community leaders who best understand the social determinants and cultural biases surrounding safe sleep and breastfeeding. They in turn educate new and expectant parents in their community.

We reviewed the Safe Sleep guidelines and the reasoning behind each and, most importantly, the need to have conversations with parents to understand their unique situation and the cultural and socio-economic factors that might prevent them from adopting the recommendations. We all had an opportunity to reflect on our own beliefs regarding where a baby sleeps, the benefits of breastfeeding and how our personal biases impact how we deliver safe sleep messages. The Ambassadors learned how during our Straight Talk Trainings we role play and explore the objections that come up surrounding safe sleep from parents, grandparents and caregivers.

This year our goal is to host 8 community trainings in Georgia, North Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey and Indiana for nurses, doulas, social workers and care coordinators. Participants can earn up to 5 contact hours in our training and costs are covered by your donations and grants.

A big THANK YOU to Bengt and Luanne Lager of Regal Lager who generously hosted the event at their home and office in Atlanta this weekend.