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Saturday, December 14, 2019
  1. Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Gluten-Free!)
  2. Kid-approved vegan eats
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  4. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-07-2019
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  27. What I Ate Wednesday: Fiancé Edition!
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  34. Fall’s Functional Foods
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  36. Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
  37. Simple Swaps for Your Zero Waste Journey
  38. Lessons on Food and Farming in Monterey, California
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  44. Eco-friendly Food Storage
  45. Bento Box Recipes
  46. How to Make Sushi Sandwich
  47. Healthy Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
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  49. 5 lunchbox ideas
  50. 17 Free and Easy Ways to Be a Self-Care Expert
  51. Fluffy Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
  52. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-07-2019
  53. 33 Mouthwatering Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Dinner Tonight
  54. What I Ate Wednesday
  55. The Best Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
  56. VOTE TODAY!
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  58. Twilight Time: Reading With Kids
  59. Keep your cool
  60. Tart Cherry Crumble Pie
  61. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  62. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  63. Your brain on… air pollution?
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  65. MCT oil Coconut’s healthful gift
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  69. What is CBD? A Guide to Health Benefits, Usage, and More!
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  74. Advances in Colorectal Cancer Research
  75. Advances in Breast Cancer Research
  76. Cleft Palate With Cleft Lip
  77. What is CPR?
  78. What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis
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  80. Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimers Disease?
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  110. Cuddle beds bringing some physical comfort to end-of-life patients – ABC News
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  112. Yale researchers revive cells in dead pig brains – Yale Daily News
  113. Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report – Fox News
  114. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment – NPR
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What Is Cleft Lip and Palate?

A cleft of the lip or palate happens when a baby is born with an opening in the
upper lip or the roof of the mouth (the palate). These orofacial
clefts
are some of the most common birth defects.

A baby with a cleft might have:

  • only a cleft palate
  • only a cleft lip
  • both a cleft lip and a cleft palate

A cleft palate (PAL-it)
is when a baby is born with an opening (a cleft) in the roof of the mouth. This leaves
a hole between the nose and the mouth.

The opening can:

  • just be in the back of the palate (the soft palate)
    or
  • extend into the front of the palate behind the gums (the hard palate)

illustration

Babies who are born with cleft lip
have a gap or opening in the upper lip. This happens when the baby’s lip doesn’t form
properly early in pregnancy, resulting in a split.

A cleft lip can be:

  • on one side of the lip (a unilateral cleft lip). This type is
    more common.
  • on both sides of the lip (a bilateral cleft lip)

illustration

Clefts can range in size:

  • Some are just a small notch in the lip (an incomplete cleft lip).
  • Others extend from the lip through the upper gum and into the nostril (a complete
    cleft lip
    ).

If the opening in the palate connects with the opening in the gums and the lip,
a baby has cleft lip and palate.

What Causes Cleft Lip and Palate?

During the first 6 to 10 weeks
of pregnancy
, the bones and skin of a baby’s upper jaw, nose, and mouth normally
come together (fuse) to form the roof of the mouth and the upper lip. A cleft happens
when parts of the lip and/or palate do not fuse together completely.

Doctors don’t always know why a baby develops a cleft, though some may be related
to genetic (inherited) factors. Also, some environmental factors can increase the
risk of a birth defect, such as:

  • taking certain medicines (such as some anti-seizure medicines) during pregnancy
  • not getting the right amount of prenatal
    nutrients
  • exposure to some chemicals during pregnancy
  • smoking cigarettes, using drugs, and/or
    drinking alcohol during pregnancy

How Is a Cleft Lip and Palate Diagnosed?

Usually, clefts are found when a baby is born. Sometimes,
they’re seen on a prenatal ultrasound. Without
a cleft lip, a cleft palate is harder to see. Doctors usually find a cleft palate
when they look and feel inside a baby’s mouth during the first newborn
exam
.

How Is Cleft Palate With Cleft Lip Treated?

Cleft lip and cleft palate can cause problems with:

  • feeding
  • growth and development
  • ear infections and hearing
  • speech development

So it’s important to correct a cleft palate with cleft lip with surgery while a
child is young.

Cleft Lip Repair

A plastic surgeon will repair the baby’s cleft lip first, usually when the baby
is about 3 months old. This is done with a surgery called cheiloplasty
(KY-lo-plass-tee). It’s done in the hospital while the baby is under general anesthesia.

The goals of cleft lip repair are to:

  • Close the cleft.
  • Improve the shape and symmetry of the upper lip and nose.

If the cleft lip is wide, special procedures like lip adhesion or nasal alveolar
molding (NAM) might help bring the parts of the lip closer together and improve the
shape of the nose before the cleft lip repair. Cleft lip repair usually leaves a small
scar under the nose.

cleft lip repair
               illustration

Cleft Palate Repair

A cleft palate usually is repaired with surgery called palatoplasty
(PAL-eh-tuh-plass-tee) when the baby is 10–12 months old. The goals of palatoplasty
are to:

  • Close the opening between the nose and mouth.
  • Help create a palate that works well for speech.
  • Prevent food and liquid from leaking out of the nose.

In palate repair surgery, a plastic surgeon will:

  • Close the cleft in layers.
  • Rearrange and repair the muscles of the soft palate so they work better during
    speech.
  • Make two incisions (cuts) on each side of the palate behind the gums to ease tension
    on the palate repair.

This surgery requires general anesthesia
and takes about 2–3 hours. Most babies can go home after 1 or 2 days in the
hospital. The stitches will dissolve on their own.

Your child will need a liquid diet for a week or two, then will eat soft foods
for several more weeks before going back to his or her regular diet. You may be asked
to keep your baby in special sleeves (“no-nos”) that prevent the elbows from bending.
This is so your baby can’t put any fingers or hard objects into the mouth, which could
make the cleft palate repair come open.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Cleft lip and palate surgeries have greatly improved in recent years. Most kids
who undergo them have very good results. There are risks with any surgery, though,
so call the doctor if your child:

  • has a fever above 101.4°F (38.5°C)
  • has lasting pain or discomfort
  • has heavy bleeding from the mouth or nose
  • won’t drink fluids
  • isn’t making wet diapers

What Else Should I Know?

A child with a cleft lip and palate can sometimes have other health problems, such
as:

  • fluid buildup behind the ear
  • trouble feeding
  • hearing loss
  • dental problems
  • speech problems

It’s important to work with a care team experienced in treating children with cleft
lip and palate. Besides the pediatrician, a child’s treatment team will include:

  • plastic surgeon
  • ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician (otolaryngologist)
  • orthodontist
  • dentist
  • speech-language pathologist
  • audiologist

You might also work with:

  • an oral surgeon
  • a social worker
  • a psychologist or therapist
  • a geneticist
  • a team coordinator

Some kids with cleft lip and palate may need other surgeries as they get older.
These might include:

  • Speech surgery: Children can develop speech problems even after
    the palate has been repaired. At your regular appointments with the cleft team, the
    speech-language pathologist
    will carefully listen to your child’s speech to help the surgeon decide if another
    surgery is needed to improve speech.
  • Alveolar (al-VEE-eh-lur) bone grafting: Doctors
    might use a small amount of bone from the hip to repair the cleft or notch in the
    gums and to support the permanent teeth as they come in. This surgery is usually done
    when kids are 7–9 years old.
  • Nose surgery: Clefts of the lip also affect how the nose
    looks, so some kids may benefit from more surgery on the nose. Fixing minor problems,
    such as the shape of the nostrils, can be done during childhood. More extensive nose
    surgeries, if needed, are done when the child is finished growing.
  • Orthognathic (or-thig-NATH-ik) surgery: Some
    children with cleft palate need this surgery to realign the jaws and teeth when they’re
    older. It’s done when the child is finished growing.

Looking Ahead

Most kids with cleft lip and palate are treated successfully with no lasting problems.
A team experienced in treating children with cleft lip and palate can create a treatment
plan tailored to your child’s needs.

The psychologists and social workers on the treatment team are there for you and
your child. So turn to them to help guide you through any hard times. You also can
find more information and support online:


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