Congratulations! It’s a girl . . . or boy! These are the words you looked forward to. Instead, what consumes your thoughts after your 20-week ultrasound is the term “cleft lip.” Now that you know, it can be difficult to avoid the pit in your stomach. We are here to offer kind support as you move toward a healthy delivery and the process of repair.
Why did this happen?
It is important to have compassion toward yourself and your partner when you receive a diagnosis of cleft lip or cleft palate. You did nothing to cause this condition. Numerous studies have been conducted, and the best data to come from them is a theory that the malformation of the palate and lip occurs when the perfect mix of genetic and environmental factors meet. There is no way to predict the likelihood of cleft lip, other than a slightly higher risk if other family members were born with similar structural anomaly.
The fact that you are reading this blog is evidence that you want information. A word of caution: get the right information. If you have already been referred to a specialist, wait until that consultation to obtain details on your child’s condition and what to do about it. Excessive online searching could lead you to unnecessary stress due to the fact that every case is different. What you read online may not pertain to your child’s case, but could keep you up at night. You don’t need that, nor does your growing baby.
Everything is going to be ok!
At the Cleft & Facial Cosmetic Surgery Center, parents can obtain prenatal counseling from an experienced physician with direct training and experience treating cleft lip and cleft palate. If you are in the New Orleans, Covington, or Baton Rouge area, you are not far from our Metairie practice, where you can speak with Dr. James about the best treatment protocol for your baby.
There is a clear advantage to the fact that modern technology often diagnosis cleft lip before birth. Typically, surgery is most successful when conducted before 1 year of age. Using precision technique, a skilled surgeon can restore optimal structure to the mouth that facilitates normal function, including speech development and feeding.
You are not in this alone. There are several professionals who will help your child develop properly, including your pediatrician, surgeon, dentist, and others. For more information on prenatal counseling for cleft lip repair, call our Louisiana office at (504) 378-2030.