Because of the tediousness and patience required for breastfeeding for all mothers, not just those whose baby has a cleft lip, many mothers choose alternative means of feeding, such as bottle feeding. If your baby has a birth defects, such as cleft lip or cleft palate, he or she has structural abnormalities that may inhibit his or her feeding abilities. For instance, your child may have difficulty sucking on the bottle, and therefore trouble receiving the milk from the bottle. There are several bottles on the market that are aimed specifically towards children with a cleft lip. These bottles have a soft top, making it more accessible to your baby: your speech language pathologist can recommend the best brands and bottles for your individual baby.
Babies with Birth Defects may Have Trouble
Suckles is a part of the pediatric swallowing process. It is different from swallowing in that it occurs from 8 months of gestation up until 6 months after birth. Suckling also differs from sucking in the tongue and jaw movement. The jaw is stable and the tongue moves back and forth. This works in young babies because of the developmental stage of their laryngeal structures. With a cleft lip, your baby may have difficulty with tongue movement and minor problems with suckling. If suckling is a problem for your baby it is wise to develop a pattern of squeezing the bottle to help the baby adapt for a pattern of suckling. This pattern will help your baby adjust to the proper movements to help obtain the milk.
It is extremely important to maintain your baby’s weight and nutrition. Despite the structural differences, your baby should still develop eating habits (such as receiving solids at 6 months) and should retain a healthy wait. If at any point you have difficulty with feeding you should contact your physician for alternative methods.
Topamax, the popular pharmaceutical drug used to treat epilepsy and migraines, has been shown to cause cleft lip and cleft palate in children when taken by women during pregnancy.
Birth Defects Attorneys in New Jersey & Philadelphia
If your child was born with cleft lip it is likely that you have some questions regarding your use of Topamax. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 0833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.