Hi! Nice to see you back here. My cousin's son was born with both cleft lip and cleft palate. He is now grown, married, and a father! He really was a best case scenario. He had a great medical team, successful surgeries, and everything went well.
I also have some experience working with CL/P professionally (not a lot, to be honest). I took a class specifically devoted to CL/P and other craniofacial disorders so I know a lot on paper, though.
If it is just a cleft lip, it may simply be a cosmetic issue. Surgery will be required to fix the lip (and possibly the nose, depending on how much is affected). It shouldn't affect speech at all. Feeding shouldn't be affected but there is a possibility the baby could have difficulty latching.
If it is a cleft lip and palate both, it's more of a big deal. It will affect breastfeeding and bottle feeding (no ability to latch/suck), speech, teeth may not grow in right so extensive dental work may be required as well as the palate and lip repair. These kids are often prone to ear infections and in one case I know of, a girl with a CL/P was given hearing aids due to the ear infections (that's extremely rare). Because she had an unusual bone structure, it was much more of a problem than the typical ear infection most kids get. There will be a series of surgeries, up through adolescence. It can seem overwhelming. The good news is, it's fixable and I've seen my cousin as a great example of how well everything can go. Have her look around her community and find a craniofacial team. A team approach is critical to managing all the various specialists and interventions.
Let me know if you have more questions.
Last edited by Gwenn; 06-25-2014 at 01:42 PM.
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