You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on

This one is about: Breastfeeding After Cleft Lip Repair

(c) 1998 Wide Smiles
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The following information was supplied by my friend, Jacalyn Miller, who is the Chairwoman of the Alberta Cleft Palate Craniofacial Foundation, and who was recently awarded a Medal of Honor by the Alberta Medical Association, for her work with the Foundation, and specifically for her research in clefts and breastfeeding:

Dr. Weatherley-White (Denver, CO) did a landmark study on this after his patients came back and told him they were bfdg after lip surgery even though they had been "forbidden" by Dr's. He found less lip dehiscence, less crying (always good) and better babies and results in general when they were breastfed.

Same for Dr. Mimis Cohen (Chicago, ILL), a study done a few years after that, I think. I will be happy to supply references. I'll take a minute to look them up, and I will send another message.

Hope this information helps. If you'd like, you can e-mail me privately.

Alana Poos

More info:

The Cleft Palate Foundation considers the safety of breastfeeding after cleft *lip* surgery to be very well established and not in question at all.

Here are two references for your plastic surgeon -

Weatherley-White, R.C.A. et al

"Early Repair and Breast-Feeding for Infants with Cleft Lip" from Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, June 1987, pp. 879 - 885


Cohen,M. et al

"Ideas and Innovations - Immediate Unrestricted Feeding of Infants Following Cleft Lip and Palate Repair from the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 3,1 (July 1992)

We have written a pamphlet for medical professionals which mostly deals with the question of breastfeeding for infants with cleft *palate*, but also includes the above references.

Although we find their published information about breastfeeding and cleft *palate* to be overly optimistic, and have not been able to track down many real successes, La Leche League International can supply you with anecdotal stories from moms about their success breastfeeding after cleft *lip* surgery. (www., I think). I feel they would be very supportive to you in this case.

All the best with surgery,
Jacalyn Miller
Pres, Alberta Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Foundation
 -participant in physician debate re: early cleft palate repair for the purpose of breastfeeding, Baltimore, MD, Apr. 98
 -recipient of Alberta Medical Assoc. 1998 Medal of Honor (for research by a non-physician) in the area of clefts and breastfeeding

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