Ultrasound detection can be very frightening, especially if one minute you are expecting a happy smiling picture of your tiny baby and the next minute they are sitting you up and all you can hear are frightening words like, tiny problem, completely fixable, couple of surgeries, problems with feeding.  The good news is that you do have time, time to prepare yourself and your family for the birth of a baby that is going to face some challenges in the first twelve months.  Time to grieve for the loss of that perfect baby but to also be thankful that your baby is going to receive some of the best medical care available in the world at PMH and that thanks to the power of modern ultrasound techniques you will be able to face those challenges fully armed with all the knowledge you can glean in the remaining 20 weeks.

At CleftPALS WA we recommend coming to a morning tea (which are on the 15th of every month) to meet some other mums, some who will have been ultrasound detected, some who won’t have.  They are the best place to start to get some sense of what to expect.  The next morning tea details are advertised on this website on the home page in the rolling banner and under the Events page.

The ultrasound clinic or GP should refer you to see one of the surgeons at PMH through the Cleft Palate and Cranio Maxillo Facial Clinic.  Go armed with lots of questions (written down, because you will never remember them) but don’t expect to get all the answers.  One common question is often "Does my baby have a cleft palate too?" They may not be able to answer that.  The cleft lip is picked up on the ultrasound because there is a broken line where the lip is and the machine is able to clearly show that.  The ultrasound technology cannot yet confidently detect the babies palate and so the advice they generally give is we don’t know but we suggest you prepare yourself for that possibility given the frequency of cleft palates occurring with cleft lips.

Another area of questions you may be asking is if there is any counselling available to talk about your feelings since being ultrasound detected.  It is generally best to discuss this with your GP, as they are best equipped with knowledge of appropriate counselling practices and are also able to refer you to them if required.

Some example of ultrasound photos of Cleft Lip and Palate babies:

Photo 1 - 16 weeks gestiation (4D)


Photo 2 - 19 weeks gestiation (4D)


Photo 3 - 21 weeks gestation 

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