Cleft lip and palate- What is it?
- ‘Cleft’ means a ‘Gap’
- It is a slit( gap) in the upper lip or the palate( the region at the upper part of mouth).
- These defects cause a problem as the baby is not able to form a complete seal at the breast as hence not able to suckle
RISK FACTORS FOR CLEFT defect
- Family history of cleft lips and palates
- Smoking/ Alcohol during pregnancy
- Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy
EFFECTS of Cleft
- Physical defect- cosmetic concerns
- Feeding Difficulty
- Increased chance of ear infections
- Speech development problems
- Dental health problems
- You baby with cleft needs to be seen at birth as they may find it difficult to feed.
- Generally, small defects are managed with Large Bore nipple teats
- Sometimes at a hospital, the doctor may or pass a tube from mouth to stomach of the baby (to bypass the defect)
- Generally, surgery to correct a cleft lip will be carried out during the first 3 months of the baby’s life and surgery to correct a cleft palate will be carried out at a later stage (around 6 months of age).
The baby must be tested for their hearing and speech at birth and after the correction procedure.