Cleft Lip – What it is, Causes and Treatment!

Cleft Lip – What it is, Causes and Treatment. In addition,   a cleft lip is an opening in the lip or palate , which may or may not be complete. These openings result from incomplete development of the lip and/or palate  (roof of the mouth  ) while the baby is forming, before birth. The lip and roof of the mouth  develop separately during the first three months of pregnancy .

In the most common clefts, the left and right sides of the cleft lip do not come together, leaving an open vertical line. The same situation can happen with the roof of the mouth   or palate . In rarer cases there may be two clefts in the palate , one on the right side and one on the left side. So, check out Cleft Lip – What it is, Causes and Treatment.

Causes and Risk Factors for cleft lip: The causes of cleft lip are not a certainty, it is known that some factors at the time of formation can be taken into account and measures such as the use of folic acid can help prevent this “malformation” however, it is not known for sure why the junction of the face does not occur, giving rise to the cleft lip at the time of fetal formation.

One hypothesis of the causes of cleft lip is genetics i.e. if a family member has the cleft lip gene , this could happen in the fetus, but it is also a hypothesis.

People who have close family members or who have had a cleft lip themselves are more likely to have their children develop the condition. However, even in these cases, the condition is still rare. Some of the attitudes in pregnancy that are already known to favor the cleft lip are:

  • Smoking and/or consuming alcoholic beverages during pregnancy ;
  • The mother has diabetes before becoming pregnant;
  • Use of certain medications to treat epilepsy or migraine, such as topamax and valproic and also the use of steroid tablets ;
  • Do not take a folic acid supplement during pregnancy ;
  • The mother being obese during pregnancy .

Problems Secondary to Cleft Lip: In addition to knowing the causes of cleft lip , you should keep in mind that this condition not only affects the physical appearance, but also has other related or secondary problems:

  •  Misaligned teeth .
  • Frequent ear infections.
  • Cleft lip that can reach the base of the nose .
  •  Changed nose shape .
  • Uvula divided in two or bifid.
  • cleft palate.
  • Problems eating well.
  • Difficulties gaining  weight .
  • Milk flow through the nose  when breastfeeding.
  • Growth delays.
  • Complications in speech development.
  • Problems hearing well.

Cleft Lip Treatment: The cleft lip can be repaired in the first few months of life. The roof of the mouth  takes longer. The exact dates of these surgical interventions depend on the baby’s development and are determined by the technical team. There will always be an evaluation by the pediatrician.

Living together / Prognosis: Remember that the cleft lip and palate is nothing more than a malformation of the lips , not hindering mental capacity. Therefore, the cleft should be treated with respect, affection and understanding, just like anyone else.

Babies who have a cleft lip and palate deserve special attention, especially at feeding time . Breast milk is the best food for the child; cleft babies should be breastfed; when this is not possible, put breast milk in the bottle and give it to the baby.

  • Be careful to prevent the child from drowning when being fed.
  • When breastfeeding, place the baby almost upright. If the baby is choking, just tilt him upside down to degas.
  • Use shims at the foot of the crib headboard so you can lay the baby on his stomach without using pillows.
  • Look at your Health Center for special nipples and bottles that make it easier to feed  children with clefts.
  • Cleaning should always be done in the crack region. Wash your hands whenever you feed the baby.
  • After every feeding , clean the mouth  with a damp cotton swab and clean water. If the child already has a tooth , an adult should help with the toothbrush .

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