BookmarkBookmarkTick

Q&A: How Do I Feed Baby?

My baby has a cleft palate. How can I feed him breast milk?
ByCatherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC
Lactation Specialist
Updated
January 30, 2017
Hero Image

If the cleft is very small and in the soft palate only, the baby may be able to breastfeed. If the cleft is larger, it will be necessary to use a special technology to feed. Special bottles are made to feed babies with clefts. There is also the possibility of feeding the baby at your breast with a special tube system. To try this option, you will need expert help. Even if your baby can’t breastfeed, your milk is extra important to him and healing his cleft, so pumping is well worth the work. Doing at least some feedings at the breast with a tube helps improve the baby’s tongue movements and can spread the palate. Another option for babies with cleft palate is very early repair, in the first week of life, which then allows them to breastfeed. Talk to your doctor to find out your options.

Related Video
Track athlete Allyson Felix running a race.

Nursing Olympians May Not Be Able to Bring Their Baby to the Games

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
05/21/2021
Mom sitting and breastfeeding her baby.

New Study Shows How “Good Bacteria” in Breast Milk Changes Over Time

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/25/2021
Frida's new nursing pillow in use, mom breastfeeding her baby.

This New Product Line Is a Game-Changer for Nursing Moms’ Sore Breasts

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/24/2021
two hands passing a paper heart between them

This Mom Donated 600 Ounces to Breast Milk After Her Newborn’s Death

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
09/14/2020
healthy salad with zucchini

How to Eat a Healthy Breastfeeding Diet

profile picture of Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie
Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie
Contributing Writer
Article removed.