Cleft Lip & Palate - Common Questions

What is cleft lip? What is cleft palate?

A cleft lip is an opening in the lip. A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth.  Clefts happen because of incomplete development of the lip or palate while this area is forming during pregnancy.

Why didn’t our baby’s mouth fully develop?

We don’t know the answer to this question, but you can be assured that it was not because you did something wrong. It was not your fault.

Will we have trouble feeding our baby?

Some babies with clefts have few problems feeding, while others have more difficulty. Use of special bottles and careful positioning of the baby are sometimes helpful. Your primary care physician or feeding specialist can give you proper guidance.

How will the treatment our baby needs be paid for?

Health insurance will pay for all or part of the necessary care.  Additional financial assistance may be available if you meet income guidelines.

What if we have more questions?

Ask your baby’s doctor or contact Patricia Williams at (207) 287-4802 or Email at patricia.williams@maine.gov in the Maine Cleft Lip & Palate Program.

Yellow daiseyQuestions developed from the Cleft Palate Foundation External site disclaimer