Feeding plate: an efficient help for baby and mother
A feeding plate is an appliance that the orthodontist can make to help the special needs in feeding a baby born with a cleft of the palate.
The appliance is made as soon as possible, ideally during the first week of life. It is custom made. See page
The plate covers most of the palate area, including the area of the cleft. Thus, the baby’s tongue can exert enough negative pressure on the bottle’s nipple and feed in an almost normal manner.
Sometimes the bottle’s nipple can be cut a little, in order to increase the flow of milk. Most of the time, this simple procedure will allow for a normal feeding experience. The size of the cut may be adapted individually, some babys needing just a small increase of the nipple’s opening, others needing more extensive enlargement
Many different systems exist. One well-known is the so-called “Habermann“ bottle (picture below). Other brands are recommended by some teams. Usually, they are fitted with a longer teat, which supposedly reduce nasal regurgitation by forcing milk’s flow further back into the pharynx. However in our experience, a baby wearing a feeding plate does not need any special bottle or teat.
Our team can offer the competence of a specialized nurse, who will be happy to assist mother and child in case of difficulties.