Feeding the Cleft Baby


Hospitals have breast feeding only policy which they follow religiously . This is a problem. Even the best of their doctors didn’t know that a baby with cleft lip and palate or even just of palate  cannot generate suction during feeding. The lack of suction makes it difficult, and for some babies impossible, to breast or bottle-feed efficiently. Consequently, feeding can take a long time and be tiring for the baby who may not get enough milk to grow and develop well.

[First few days in such a hospital is total waste of time for baby who is already losing weight (it’s normal for baby’s b.wt to decrease during first 2 weeks and to be regained later.) ]

Even good hospitals in India can send you home with a pat on the back and advice like you can try using a “palada” if breast feeding is not working out sometimes (:/…say whaatt?!)

Initially in our excessive fear that lack of breast feeding would deprive our darling of immunity provided by the immunoglobulin proteins in breast milk,we bought the electric breast pump.However without the oxytocin released by normal breastfeeding cycle…breast milk dries up.(sad but true) within a month! So packed up the pump to rest atop a cupboard…hmm.

I tried more economical options than the Haberman’s feeder (shown in the first pic) but finally found that the least hassle is to give milk through the Haberman’s itself.

The spoon bottle is for feeding after the first surgery as sucking on a nipple can cause pressure on the stitches.

You need one small brush to clean inside the teat/spoon and one large brush to clean the bottle.(Inside this picture of the bottle you can make out a cleaning brush)



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