What Is Cleft Lip and Palate
A cleft palate is a birth defect where the roof of a baby’s mouth does not form in the womb. This leads to a crack inside the upper lip and/or on the gum line. The symptoms, causes and when to get tested for it.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are more common than you may think. They can occur together or separately and are caused by a failure of the mouth’s lip and/or roof to fuse properly during a baby’s development in the womb.
What Is Cleft Lip
A cleft lip is a birth defect that happens when the upper lip fails to form fully, leaving a gap between the nose and mouth. In some cases, the cleft may extend into the nose or other parts of the face. Cleft lips are usually bilateral (affecting both sides), but they can be unilateral (affecting only one side).
The exact cause of cleft lips is unknown, but it is believed to be related to genetics and environmental factors like smoking or alcohol use during pregnancy. It’s also possible for a baby to be born with a cleft lip if their mother takes certain medications during pregnancy.
In a cleft palate you will notice an opening between the nose and the roof of his mouth of your newborn’s mouth
What Is Cleft Palate
A cleft palate is a birth defect of the mouth. It happens when the roof of the mouth does not form properly. This means that the soft tissue and bone do not grow together in one piece.
The result is a gap or split in the roof of your child’s mouth, affecting their eating and speaking ability. It can cause other issues, including ear infections and hearing loss.
Cleft palates are common among newborns, but they often go unnoticed until your child starts teething or starts to eat solid food.
What Causes Cleft Palate
The Cleft palate is a birth defect that affects the roof of the mouth. It can range from mild to severe and affect one or both sides of the palate.
There are many causes among them are:
- Genetic factors: The most common cause of cleft palate is genetics. If you have a family history of cleft palate, your child may be at increased risk for it.
- Maternal diabetes: Pregnancy diabetes can increase your child’s risk of developing cleft palate.
- Drugs: Taking certain drugs during pregnancy can increase your child’s risk of developing cleft palate.
Cleft Palate Speech Characteristics
The Cleft palate is a birth defect that occurs when the roof of the mouth does not fully close during fetal development. A cleft lip usually accompanies it. These conditions can cause problems with speech, hearing, and dental health. In most cases, children with cleft palates must undergo surgery to correct the condition.
Some speech characteristics include:
- The inability to make certain sounds (such as “l” or “r”) because these sounds require proper placement of the lips and tongue so that air can be released from the mouth efficiently. Instead, these sounds may appear as “w” or “m.”
- A nasal quality to their voice because they cannot keep their nasal passages closed during speech. This can make it difficult for them to be understood by others who do not know them well; however, it can also make them easier for non-native speakers of English to understand when speaking slowly and clearly.
Cleft Palate Occurs During Which Weeks of Fetal Development
The Cleft palate is a birth defect during fetal development’s first and second weeks. In this case, the two sides of the palate (roof of the mouth) do not fuse properly, resulting in a gap between them.
This gap allows digestive fluids to leak into the nasal passages and windpipe, causing problems with breathing and swallowing.
In this surgery, the tissues and muscles from either sides will be stitched together
Cleft Palate Repair
Cleft palate repair is surgery that repairs the roof of the mouth, where it meets the nose. It’s done to correct it by closing the gap that runs from the top of the mouth to the nose.
This can be done in a number of different ways:
- The surgeon may use stitches to close or “repair” the gap.
- They may take tissue from other parts of your body (such as your cheek) and put it over your palate, closing it up.
- The surgeon may use a piece of plastic shaped like a wedge, which they’ll place over your palate to close.
What Is Cleft Palate Surgery
Cleft palate surgery is a procedure to correct the gap in your child’s palate. This gap is called a cleft. A cleft can occur on one side or both sides of the palate. The gap between the two sides of the palate may be small or large, extending from one side of your child’s nose to the other.
A gap in your child’s palate can cause problems with feeding and speech development, as well as problems with dental development.
This surgery aims to close the space between your child’s mouth and nose so that they can eat and breathe normally while also developing their speech properly. Your child will need this surgery before they turn one year old to have time to develop before starting school.
Feeding Baby With Cleft Lip and Palate
When you have a baby with a cleft lip, feeding can be a little different. But it doesn’t have to be.
Your baby may need to be positioned differently for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. But that’s okay! Babies are pretty adaptable and will figure out how to latch on and get the milk they need.
If breastfeeding your baby, you can change the feeding position so that your breast fills the cleft. This can make it easier for your child to latch on and nurse effectively.
If you’re using a bottle-feeding system, you may want to consider using an angled-nipple bottle or nipple shield so that the nipple is easier for your child to hold onto.
You may also want to consider getting a special bottle-feeding system with an angled nipple instead of adjusting it yourself every time you feed your baby.
Image Source: iStock
Can Cleft Palate Be Prevented?
Yes, it can be prevented!
It’s important to note that it is not caused by poor parenting or a lack of love. It’s a genetic condition, so if you have a child with a cleft palate, other family members likely do as well. However, there are certain things you can do to reduce the risk of having another child with cleft lip or palate:
- Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after your baby is born. Smoking during pregnancy increases your risk of having a baby with a cleft lip or palate.
- Eat healthy foods and take prenatal vitamins before and during pregnancy. Eating well and taking prenatal vitamins help your baby grow properly inside the womb and reduce the risk of having a baby with a cleft lip or palate.
- Limit alcohol consumption while pregnant—and never drink while breastfeeding! Drinking alcohol while pregnant increases your risk of having a baby with a cleft lip or palate.
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.