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Children with Cleft Lip and /or Palate: Understanding the Role of Nutrition

Infants born with a cleft may require modifications in feeding practices prior to surgical closure of the defect; however, few changes in dietary recommendations are necessary. Often, the delivery method of breast milk or formula can be altered in order to require less effort by the infant and decrease caloric output, thereby increasing the calories ingested to facilitate weight gain and growth. Before and after any surgical intervention, the goal remains to continue to supply the infant with sufficient caloric intake to heal and to continue to grow.

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Deepalakshmi Sriram

Registered Dietitian at Smile Train

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Infants born with a cleft may require modifications in feeding practices prior to surgical closure of the defect; however, few changes in dietary recommendations are necessary. Often, the delivery method of breast milk or formula can be altered in order to require less effort by the infant and decrease caloric output, thereby increasing the calories ingested to facilitate weight gain and growth. Before and after any surgical intervention, the goal remains to continue to supply the infant with sufficient caloric intake to heal and to continue to grow.