The palatal plate, which we call a feeding plate because of its functional advantages, is an orthosis that we make as soon as possible after the birth of the baby.
Many multidisciplinary care centers like ours use this method of early care.
Definition of an orthosis (Wikipedia): an orthosis is an appliance that compensates for an absent or deficient function, assists a joint or muscle structure, stabilizes a body segment during a rehabilitation phase or rest. It differs from the prosthesis, which replaces a missing element or body part. A prosthesis is an element, accessory or other device intended to replace an organ or function. An orthosis is also an accessory or appliance but its purpose is to facilitate a function.
The feeding plate is an orthosis in the sense that it is designed to allow bottle-feeding of the newborn until the surgical closure of the cleft palate. It isolates the oral and nasal cavities, preventing the bolus, liquid or solid, to engage in the nasal cavities. The plate makes feeding easier and more comfortable for the baby. The bottle is drunk faster, which is less tiring for the baby and ensures a normal food intake. However a feeding plate does not necessarily make breastfeeding possible.