Learn about some of the SIDS and infant mortality research to which Lach's Legacy has made contributions.

We are grateful to those who have dedicated their careers to understanding the factors that contribute to sudden infant deaths, in hopes of finding the answers that will prevent families in the future from having to experience such a tragic loss. 


Safe Passage Study

This research is taking place in-part in South Dakota!

The Safe Passage Study is a large, prospective, multidisciplinary study designed to (1) investigate the association between prenatal alcohol exposure, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and stillbirth, and (2) determine the biological basis of the spectrum of phenotypic outcomes from exposure, as modified by environmental and genetic factors that increase the risk of stillbirth, SIDS, and in surviving children, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.


Dr. Rachel Moon, MD

Photo from University of Virginia School of Medicine

Photo from University of Virginia School of Medicine

Dr. Rachel Y. Moon

From University of Virginia School of Medicine Child Health Research Center:
Rachel Moon, MD, an internationally recognized expert in SIDS and postneonatal infant mortality, serves as Division Head of General Pediatrics at the University of Virginia. She earned her undergraduate and medical degrees at Emory University and completed a residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She came to UVA in October 2015 after 21 years as a faculty member at Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Moon’s research focuses on high-risk populations for SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, specifically African-Americans and infants attending child care. She has conducted both quantitative and qualitative research to better understand the reasons underlying parental decisions regarding sleep-related practices. Dr. Moon is currently principal investigator of a multi-institutional NIH-funded R01 to evaluate the effectiveness of various interventions to modify parental behaviors with regards to safe infant sleep practices, and principal investigator of another NIH-funded R01 to investigate the influence of social networks and norms on parental behaviors. She has received funding from the NIH, HRSA, and from nonprofit foundations. Dr. Moon has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers. She co-authored 14 Ways to Protect Your Baby from SIDS, a handbook for parents and health professionals. She is the Chair of the Task Force on SIDS for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and an associate editor for Pediatrics.Dr. Moon is an internationally recognized expert in SIDS and safe-sleep

One of Dr. Moon’s current projects aims to understand the influence of the social network (family, friends, and peers) and social norms(explicit and implicit rules of a social group) on parental decisions about how and where their infants sleep, and how differences in social networks and norms contribute to disparities in SIDS and sleep-related infant deaths.  Her previous research has found that mothers assume the primary responsibility for making decisions concerning their infant, and that they seek information from trusted sources, most commonly family members and friends, to guide decisions. Mothers often consider their social network to be a more trustworthy resource than medical providers. The influence of social networks, if contrary to recommended health practices, represents a major barrier to acceptance of safe sleep practices. Her long-term objective is to develop intervention strategies, using the data generated in her studies, that will change social norms regarding infant sleep practices, leading to a reduction in the persistently high rate of sleep-related deaths in African-Americans.