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Thread: BF a child with cleft lip and palate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Smile BF a child with cleft lip and palate

    My child is currently 7 weeks old with a cleft lip and palate. Due to emergency surgery for a uterine rupture when he was 5 days old I did not conitue pumping and was told by everyone in the hospital that he would never latch properly so I never tried. Just this past weekend I started leaking after having done nothing for over 6 weeks to encourage production. I would love the possibility to BF him exclusively even if it is just by pumping (though deep down inside i would love to have him on the breast if possible). Anyone have a child with cleft lip and/or palate that were able to BF? ANy and all info would be appreciated. i am pumping now with a Medela but my supply is not in yet. Just started on fenugreek yesterday and hoping that along with frequent pumping sessions will get things going. Thanks for your advice.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: BF a child with cleft lip and palate

    A friend of mine just had a baby with a cleft palate and is working on BFing with him, mostly pumping for now, though. I found this link for her. It looks like it has a lot of info on BFing babies with cleft palate and lip as well as some success stories.

    Wife to Jeff
    Mom to Alexa, born 4/22/07

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: BF a child with cleft lip and palate

    I remember hearing that the mom who designed the "Haberman bottle" had a baby with a cleft palate and that the flow of that bottle mimics the way that milk comes from the breast (e.g. baby only gets milk when they suck). I believe Medela makes it under the name of "Special Needs Feeder." Maybe that could help with a potential transition from bottle to breast down the road? I wish I knew more. But speaking as another mom of a baby with special feeding issues, I can definitely say good for you for doing all you can! I know it is hard

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: BF a child with cleft lip and palate

    do call your local leader she can get you more info...
    there is lots of info out there.

    Good luck.
    heres a link about pumping when baby isn't at the breast.

    there are a couple of stories here

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: BF a child with cleft lip and palate

    Though we aren't completely in your position, I understand the uncertainty you are experiencing. My dd2 has a cleft of the soft palate. She is able to successfully breastfeed and we've never had any problems. The dr.s and therapists are always amazed at how well she's doing and the fact that she's able to breastfeed. So, I just want you to know that it is possible. Does your baby leak milk from his nose during feedings? If he's having too many problems at the breast, I would definitely pump as much as you can to give him those great nutrients that he needs. Keep your chin up! You're doing a great job!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Carrollton, Missouri

    Default Re: BF a child with cleft lip and palate

    Congrats on the baby. My son Keean was born with bilateral cleft lip and palate. Unfortunatly i was unable to breast feed him. It broke my heart. It just depends on the type of cleft and how severe it is if you are going to be able to breastfeed from the breast. Does your little one have unilateral or bilateral? Is it complete or incomplete? Does it affect the hard palate or soft? These are all the questions that will determine if you can nurse from the breast. However you can always pump!
    If you have anyquestions cleft wise or other please feel free to email me or im me!
    Kristina Jeremiah since 2-18-1998
    Mother to
    Gavin 1-03 Nursed 2.5mo
    Keean 5-04 BCLP
    Alexis 12-06 Nursed 12mo THEN
    Relactated after 5mo(due to her dairy intol.) and ended up making 30oz a day
    Now we are Weaned! AGAIN!
    Kason 6-2-10
    Birth..8 lbs 5.9 oz
    4 wks.... 10 lbs 12 oz
    9 wks.... 13 lbs 14 oz
    15wks... 16 lbs 4 oz
    17wks... 17 lbs 2 oz
    6 mo..... 19 lbs 6 oz
    7 mo .....20 lbs 3 oz

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: BF a child with cleft lip and palate

    Here are some great articles to start reading through! Let us know what you think about them!

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