Cleft Lip Birth Defects and Breastfeeding; What Mothers Should Know

Breastfeeding is the most common form of feeding a newborn baby. Breastfeeding provides a bond between a mother and newborn baby that cannot be formed with any other person. Many women choose this method of feeding in order to strengthen the relationship between her and her baby. If the newborn baby has a cleft lip birth defect, a mother may experience some difficulty in using breastfeeding as the only approach to nourishing her child. As such, there are several important suggestions to keep in mind when breastfeeding your baby.

Babies with Cleft Lip May Face Trouble

new jersey philadelphia birth defects attorneys Cleft Lip important reminders breastfeeding babyA newborn baby with a cleft lip will have trouble sealing the lips and nasal cavity, preventing efficient sucking. The orbicularis oris, the muscle of the lips, has been affected due to the cleft lip , which prevents the muscles from properly functioning to provide a strong labial seal. If the cleft lip is specific to one area of the lip (i.e. the right or left side) it may help to breastfeed your baby at an angle towards the side of the lip without the malformation. By repositioning yourself, you can help your baby create a stronger labial seal, allowing him or her to suck more efficiently.

Depending on the severity of the cleft lip or cleft palate, your baby may have some nasal regurgitation. This means that during breastfeeding, your baby may have residual milk in the nasal cavity or dripping from the nose. It is important to be aware of this possibility and wipe away excess liquids in order to help the baby breathe.

Breastfeeding is a tedious and time consuming task for any child, and even more so for a baby with a cleft lip. Because of the structural differences, the baby may have more difficulty and thus require more time and assistance during feeding. If breastfeeding is your desired method of nourishment, it is vital to remain patient, take your baby’s individual situation into consideration, and employ the use of other techniques from time to time. Mothers should also consult their doctor for specific questions regarding their babies’ health.

Birth Defects Lawyers in NJ and PA – Cleft Lip and Topamax

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. If your child was born with a 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.

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