Becky and Mark have two sons. The older, aged 6, was born with a deformed ear (microtia) and their younger son, 7 months old, was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. The cleft lip was discovered by a sonographer when Becky had her 20-week scan.
Becky and Mark have two sons. The older, aged 6, was born with a deformed ear (microtia) and their younger son, 7 months old, was born with unilateral cleft lip and palate. The cleft lip was discovered by a sonographer when Becky had her 20-week scan.
Their older son was born with a deformed ear and a hearing impairment, so knowing that their new baby would have a cleft lip was another shock for the couple. Becky and Mark were concerned with regard to the implications of what having a cleft lip would entail. The sonographer referred them to a cleft specialist nurse who visited their home on the next working day, and she was able to help the couple put the birth of their son with a cleft into perspective. The nurse directed the couple towards the CLAPA website where they could see pictures of babies before and after cleft lip repair operations. They found the pictures reassuring but they also took the move of emailing the surgeon who had been involved in the care of their oldest son and he was able to give them some guidance as to what to expect.
When Becky and Mark’s younger son was born he was diagnosed with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. Having a cleft palate meant that their son had difficulty in feeding on the breast. The cleft nurse gave advice about feeding and directed Becky and Mark to a supplier of specialist feeding bottles called Haberman. Haberman bottles have a long teat which squirt the milk into the back of the baby’s throat. Becky and Mark both got on well with feeding their son in this way and he soon began to thrive.
Becky and Mark’s son had his lip repaired at 3 months and the couple had lots of opportunities to talk to the surgeon. The anaesthetist also spoke to them before the operation so they knew what to expect. Although their son was discharged the next day and was feeding again, it took Becky some time to get used to the new look of her son. The lip healed well and this process was helped by massaging the lip with Dermatix cream. Their son will need further surgery to repair his palate and has been diagnosed with a heart defect which may be related to his cleft. However, Becky and Mark feel they can trust and communicate well with the health professionals that are involved in the care of their son.