Can a child with Pierre Robin Syndrome and cleft palate be fed with a breast, or should it be from the beginning fed with a spoon?
Which of the opinions is correct: „Breast feeding in cleft plate children makes the cleft bigger and therefore the feeding should be done with a spoon” or „The operation of cleft palate does not create any problems in further development of the jaw and the face of the child, and sucking the nipple causes closing of the cleft”?
A nipple is a necessary evil, so the earlier we are able to restore a normal way of feeding the better for the child and the bigger joy for the orthodontist. There are different types of cleft defects, so sometimes the nipple is hard to replace. And in case of big cleft hard palate a nipple should be big and wide so that it would lean against the healthy parts of the palate and wouldn’t enter the gap. In that way it replaces the palatine bone and does not widen the cleft gap. Long nipples, from which the milk flows out easily, may help feeding in cases of cleft soft palate. Although it has to be always remembered that the baby’s head should be positioned vertically and that the baby should have frequent breaks from feeding in order to enable it to burp, since cleft children easily swallow a lot of air and have to rest. In other cases the type of nipple is insignificant.