Cleft Palate Program
Newborn Nursery Consultation
The cleft palate clinical coordinator makes an arrangement for a newborn visit to the referring hospital. Usually a registered nurse, occupational therapist, or speech therapist trained in feeding a cleft baby will do the initial evaluation at the referring hospital. Parents/family members involved in the baby’s care, and hospital staff is trained to use modified feeding techniques preventing prolonged costly hospitalization associated with feeding problems and promoting the opportunity for early lip repair at about 10 weeks of age. When a team is involved right after birth of a child with cleft lip and palate, we usually eliminate the most common problems that parents and caretakers encounter. As a result, there is better weight gain, better compliance and a faster family acceptance.
Our lactation consultant is available for outpatient (on a consultative basis) and inpatient cleft palate patients to assist parents of cleft palate babies who are having difficulty with breastfeeding. The lactation consultant collaborates with our occupational therapist and clinical nurse specialist.