What is it?

Cleft lip and Palate

Cleft is an congenital deformity or birth defect where two sides of the lip and /or palate fail to unite. The development of lip and palate happens between the 4th and 12th week of intrauterine life. Various genetic and environmental factors play a role in and may affect this process. If something goes wrong the lip and or palate may fail to unite. It can happen at any stage and therefore lip or palate may remain partially or completely divided.

Child with a cleft and especially the clef of palate has difficulty in sucking the mother’s milk and may become malnourished if not taken care of immediately. A large number of cleft babies die because of failure of lactation, feeding and malnourishment. However, it is very simple to learn to take care of their feeding. They also have problems in speech and dentition and growth of their maxilla. Their hearing may also get affected since they are prone to middle ear infections.