Munson Health
Related Information
Oral-Facial Clefts

Back to Document

by Alan R

(Cleft Lip; Cleft Palate)



Cleft lip or cleft palate can be diagnosed by examining the newborn baby. A newborn with an oral-facial cleft may be referred to a team of medical specialists soon after birth. Rarely, a mild cleft palate may go undiagnosed for several months or even years.
Your doctor may be able to see a cleft lip before birth. It may be seen during an ultrasound examination. A cleft lip can be seen as early as 18 weeks into pregnancy. Cleft palate may be harder to see before birth because it is inside the mouth. Treatment cannot be started until after birth. However, diagnosis during pregnancy will give the parents and the medical team time to prepare a care plan.
Cleft lip and palate are sometimes associated with other medical conditions. Your doctor should be able to tell you whether or not your child’s cleft is a sign of a larger condition. Some of these conditions may need additional treatment.


Children's Craniofacial Association

Cleft Lip and Palate Association



Health Canada

Women's Health Matters



Cleft lip and palate. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated August 17, 2012. Accessed July 17, 2013.

Cleft lip and palate. Nemours' Kids Health website. Available at: . Updated January 2011. Accessed July 17, 2013.

Facts about cleft lip and cleft palate. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Available at: . Updated July 15, 2013. Accessed July 17, 2013.

Risk of oral birth defects in children born to mothers taking topiramate. Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: . March 4, 2011. Accessed July 17, 2013.


Revision Information