Baby's Breath (formerly The Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) was established in 1973 to respond to the needs of families experiencing a sudden and devastating loss of an infant. We originated as a small grassroots organization that was modelled on the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (now The Lullaby Trust) in Great Britain.
Dr. Sydney Segal played an important role in our establishment. Dr. Segal - a paediatric specialist at the University of British Columbia, who experienced the death of his daughter in 1958 - joined our Canadian cause to help build our organization. Since that time, many other dedicated medical advisors have followed in Dr. Segal’s footsteps assisting our organization.
In 1973, at the Francis E. Camps International Symposium on Sudden and Unexpected Deaths in Infancy, objectives were established for our organization to develop an effective approach to increase awareness about SIDS within medical and caregiver communities. Forty years later, we are still working with these program objectives.
From our earliest days to our major partnerships to launch the Back to Sleep Campaign in 1999 with the Public Health Association of Canada (PHAC), our Foundation’s impact has grown. Most recently, we were pleased to release a 2011 Joint Statement on Safe Sleep with PHAC, aiming to promote safe sleep practices for all Canadian families.
While the rate of SIDS has declined worldwide, too many babies are still dying. The goals and objectives of Baby's Breath remain focused on saving lives, and we have expanded our mandate to also further understand all unexpected infant deaths and stillbirths, while supporting families and advocating for research.
Through the last 40 years, we have created and distributed thousands of brochures and pamphlets, sent out tens of thousands of educational packages, produced dozens of videos and provided support to thousands of families who have experienced the death of a child. While progress has been made, our work is not complete.