There are some breastfeeding benefits that are particularly important to a baby with a cleft lip or palate. Breast milk helps prevent common ear and nasal infections, and is less irritating to the mucous membranes exposed in babies with this condition. Nursing also strengthens facial muscles that ultimately support speech development later in life. Read on for more information about the unique challenges facing cleft lip or cleft palate babies, and how to address them. Increased fatigue while feeding may not be getting necessary volume or nutrients.
The Softplas squeeze bottle manufactured by Douglas Bean Australia Pty Ltd comes with a number of feeding spouts and scoops that can be used for cup-feeding. At nine months she had her surgery, which was successfully. Breastfeeding Med 2 2 — That has stuck with me to this day and, now that Isla is one, I can say that was definitely not the case for us. There are several bottles and teats designed for babies with cleft palates. Longer feedings can cause exhaustion and burn up too many calories that the baby needs to gain weight.
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Breast feeding with cleft palate Fr 77 1 — Mt Sinai J Bikini hair styles. However, you may find your baby needs extra milk after surgery, as she recovers. Gomes, C. Breastfeeding Babies with a cleft of the lip only can usually breastfeed as a newborn. During breastfeeding, the lip and palate help create suction Breast feeding with cleft palate is necessary to pull the milk from the breast. Stockdale HJ. However, it is important that baby does not receive the milk too quickly and easily as she needs to learn the suck-swallow-breathe pattern. Babies with a cleft lip without a cleft palate may be able to breastfeed. Last reviewed:. Expressing for my daughter was very rewarding. Cohen, M. Trying to drink too fast can make your baby gag, cough and splutter or regurgitate vomit. This is a bottle specially designed for any baby with a poor suck Dr Browns Bottle and teat and valve Pigeon squeezy bottle The Softplas squeeze bottle manufactured by Douglas Bean Australia Pty Ltd CleftPALS Qld Inc squeeze bottle Teats Chu Chu Pur Simplicity teats, fast flow for months Pigeon cleft palate teat and valve Using a combination of Chu Chu teat with Pigeon valve Nuk rubber, fast flow for thick foods, x-cut teats Nuk feeding spout As with any bottle-fed baby, you may need to try different teats or spouts to find the one that works best for you and your baby. Breastfeeding is most difficult for babies with a cleft of the hard palate.
Babies born with cleft lip and palate, like any other babies, need to learn how to feed successfully in order to thrive and grow.
- Breastfeeding is important for babies.
- Cleft lip and Cleft palates are among the most common birth defects.
- Babies born with cleft lip and palate, like any other babies, need to learn how to feed successfully in order to thrive and grow.
- Babies with a cleft lip without a cleft palate may be able to breastfeed.
- This La Leche League pamphlet provides information on the advantages of breastfeeding a baby with a cleft lip or palate as well as advice on breastfeeding after cleft repair surgery.
Babies with a cleft lip without a cleft palate may be able to breastfeed. There can be difficulties with forming a seal between the breast and lip but, depending on the type and size of the cleft, the breast may be able to mould to the gap.
A hissing sound usually means air is entering the mouth, so try to re-position the baby on the breast to help them to form a vacuum. The nipple needs to stay on the back of the tongue, so it may be useful to help the baby by holding the breast in the mouth. You may need to try several different positions over time before you find one which works, and it will help to seek support from medical professionals experienced in feeding babies with clefts, such as your Cleft Nurse Specialist.
A good flow of milk helps and this can be encouraged by massaging the breast or using a breast pump. Your midwife or a feeding specialist will be able to help you with this. Breastfeeding a baby with a cleft palate may work when the cleft is very small or narrow. The breast needs to be held well into the area where there is palate so that the baby can get a good grip and work at the breast with the tongue.
A nurse specialist will be able to help you with this. If your baby is unable to suckle at the breast before they have their palate repaired at months, it is possible, with commitment, for them to taste and lick milk expressed onto the nipple and be fed with expressed breast milk by another feeding method.
Any amount of breast milk is beneficial. For babies with a cleft palate, breast milk can be especially helpful as it does not irritate the delicate tissue in the nose and throat as much as formula milk and can help to reduce the risk of ear problems developing later on. There are a number of alternative methods, including cup and spoon feeding, and a supplemental nursing system. Many Cleft Teams have breast pumps available for hire which will allow you to express feed your baby.
Your baby may not have a strong enough suck to stimulate the flow of milk, so you will need to help them. You can encourage the flow of milk by massaging the breast or using a breast pump. Your midwife or a feeding specialist will be able to show you how to massage your breast and hand express the milk when a breast pump is not available. Your baby will satisfy their thirst on the first suckling and their hunger on the hind milk which contains more calories.
Even if you are able to breastfeed, your baby may need to be supplemented using expressed breast milk with an alternative feeding method, as breastfeeding alone may not give them enough milk. Stories and suggestions from parents of children born with a cleft were also used.
If you are unable to breastfeed, you may still be able to express milk and bottle-feed your baby. Babies with a cleft lip Babies with a cleft lip without a cleft palate may be able to breastfeed.
Babies with a cleft palate Breastfeeding a baby with a cleft palate may work when the cleft is very small or narrow. It is generally advised to take things a week at a time and review the situation regularly. General breastfeeding tips Your baby may not have a strong enough suck to stimulate the flow of milk, so you will need to help them.
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A rough surface may rub or damage your nipple and areola during breastfeeds. J Hum Lact. It was particularly good for both of us after her surgery. Nipple Shields Nipple shields can be of use when the baby is struggling to attach or has got used to a bottle teat, and can be used in combination with breast compressions. Comments are closed. All up I expressed for my daughter for eleven months. However, it is important that baby does not receive the milk too quickly and easily as she needs to learn the suck-swallow-breathe pattern.
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Breastfeeding a baby with cleft lip and palate - La Leche League GB
When we found out that Isla would be born with a cleft lip and possibly palate, one of the first things we were told was that she would not be able to breastfeed. It took me a very long time to come to terms with the idea of potentially not being able to breastfeed her directly, but once I did, I immediately started doing research.
La Leche League was my first port of call. My local group Leaders were, and continue to be, an unbelievable source of support to me. Depending on its severity, palate involvement would make it more difficult, if not impossible, given the lack of suction. I began to look into exclusively expressing.
That has stuck with me to this day and, now that Isla is one, I can say that was definitely not the case for us. My whole pregnancy felt completely out of my control and expressing was the one thing I could do.
I spent weeks researching different types of breast pumps, considering motor life, speed settings and added extras the one I chose has a fancy light, which is handy for not waking everyone up during the night and for toddler entertainment. I also bought a hands free pumping bra, and a lovely friend sent me her nursing cover.
That was not something I would have used had I breastfed directly, but it made me feel more confident pumping out and about. I was ready to go! We had an appointment with our specialist cleft nurse at 34 weeks to create a feeding plan. After that meeting, I contacted the Infant Feeding Coordinator at my local hospital to discuss antenatal expression and I began collecting colostrum in syringes at 34 w eeks.
By 37 weeks, I had collected and frozen ml, a real achievement! When Isla was about to arrive, my husband was sent rushing home to collect it whilst they prepped me for an emergency caesarean. After she was born and during the following few weeks, I tried to breastfeed her directly, but her cleft was so wide that she had no suction. Even bottle feeding was a challenge. I continued to express two-hourly throughout her NICU stay to mimic her feeds and managed to collect a lot of extra milk.
I continued to pump ten times a day and I was producing three times the amount of milk Isla needed. Any attempt to drop a pumping session caused mastitis, which luckily I was able to overcome thanks to my local LLL Leader.
I was beginning to run out of freezer space and I decided to donate some of my milk to help other babies. Our journey has been hard. Expressing felt like twice the work and we battled through a variety of challenges, starting with my emergency C-section and initial separation from Isla to her stay in the NICU, recurrent mastitis, multiple food allergies, surgeries, hospital stays, bottle feeding aversion and two periods of nasogastric tube feeding.
There were many, many times I swore that pumping session would be my last, but I carried on every single time and it has totally been worth it. I have pumped everywhere: in the car, on planes, in cafes, whilst working at a sling library, at soft play centres, theme parks, whilst carrying Isla on my back in a woven wrap and of course, our endless hospital appointments.
If you are reading this and expecting a baby with a cleft lip or palate, you can do it! These are my top tips for exclusively expressing:.
My hands free pumping bra also helped me a lot, as it allowed me to carry on looking after or playing with the girls whilst expressing. Reusable storage bottles also saved me a lot of money. Even little things like someone cuddling the baby while you pump can be hugely helpful. I was fed up of not having enough hands to pump and sort both girls, or having such a restricted diet.
When I was pregnant, I always aimed to pump until palate repair, but I realised that was quite a challenging goal so I set myself mini goals of two weeks, six weeks, lip repair, six months, palate repair. Each time I hit a goal it felt like a huge achievement and I gained more motivation to keep going. These are my top tips for exclusively expressing: 1 A good double electric pump is essential.