The most important consideration, when a child is born with a cleft lip and/or palate, is to plan the best possible treatment of the cleft.  A brief description of some of the professionals that you will encounter follows:

1.The Coordinator
The treatment of your child will be the responsibility of a team of specialists known as the “Cleft Lip and Palate Team”.  This group of people will work together, and ultimately with you, in planning your child’s needs.  To ensure the smooth progress of your child’s treatment, the Coordinator will oversee the various steps involved in the repair.

2.The Plastic Surgeon
The Plastic Surgeon is responsible for repairing the cleft surgically.  Your baby will be seen by the plastic surgeon during the first few days after birth.

3.The Orthodontist/Paedodontist
Where a cleft occurs through the alveolar ridge (gum ridge) and palate, it is very important that the Specialist Dentist commences treatment straight away.  In these cases, the child is generally transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital soon after birth and the Specialist Paedodontist is consulted.  A plan of treatment is then prepared to align the separate sections of the gum into a correct dental arch prior to lip repair surgery.

In most cases, this treatment will include an orthodontic plate, which is fitted in the baby’s mouth over the cleft palate.  A bonnet and strapping may also be fitted to assist in molding the section of gum into correct positions.

The Specialist Paedodontist continues to check the child regularly and becomes further involved as the child’s permanent teeth develop.

Preparing For Hospital – Lucy has written the following article on Emily’s recent hospital visit.  It contains many helpful hints which might make your hospital stay less traumatic.

‘Spoon feeding is used in the recovery period after surgery’

Please click here to view a video of a baby being spoon fed with a pigeon bottle.

A big thank you to the “May” family for sharing this video.

We are volunteers, not medical professionals. Information on this site is not a substitute for professional advice and no responsibility is accepted by CleftPALS.