What kinds of problems can my baby with a cleft palate have?

Development, feeding. Unlike the isolated cleft lip, a child with a cleft palate (with or without a cleft lip)can have problems with feeding, hearing, speech and tooth/jaw development. A minority of cleft palate infants with a small lower jaw may also have breathing problems. A nurse specialist in cleft care should assist mother in developing a satisfactory feeing program for her infant shortly after birth.
Feeding, speech, mom. Infants with cleft are more prone to wind and take longer to feed. Both abnormal feeding pattern and the physical defect can affect oral motor and oro-sensory development. Other problems are delayed and deviant pre-speech development, osteitis meda (result in hearing loss), delayed language skill. Parent-child interaction is affected psychologically as parent underrated the child potential.
Feeding problems. Cleft may cause problems with feeding, ear disease, speech and socialization. Due to lack of suction, an infant with a cleft may have trouble feeding. An infant with a cleft palate will have greater success feeding in a more upright position. Individuals with cleft also face many middle ear infections which can eventually lead to total hearing loss.

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