Cleft Palate: Common Misconceptions Parents Should Know

When your baby is born, you want everything to be as perfect as possible. Learning that your child has a cleft palate when they are delivered can give you a lot of concern as a parent for sure. However, there is no reason to be more alarmed than what you need to be. It is super important that you know the facts about the situation. As unfortunate as it may be, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about this condition. Here is a look at some of the misconceptions you should know about cleft palate as a parent. 

Misconception: A child with a cleft palate will probably have psychological disabilities. 

Children who are born with clefts can live full lives just the same as their peers, and most do not have any kind of learning disabilities. This myth stems from the fact that many children born with a cleft palate can have issues with speech development and some have issues with hearing in severe cases, but this is not indicative that they have any type of mental problem or issue. 

Misconception: Cleft palate cannot be fully corrected. 

Only the most severe cases of cleft are hard to correct with modern medicine. These days, it is almost unheard of for a child to be born with cleft palate or cleft lip and not have a surgical option available to improve their condition. In fact, most cases can be almost fully corrected with only minimal scarring left behind. 

Misconception: A child born with cleft palate or a cleft lip is rare. 

Cleft palate and cleft lip are two of the most common birth defects in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 2,650 infants have a cleft palate at birth and 4,440 babies will have a cleft lip on any given year. Therefore, the condition is not considered rare and is highly treatable.

Misconception: Cleft palate is always caused by something the mother does during pregnancy. 

The exact cause of the condition is not entirely known. Several risk factors exist, and some of those can have something to do with the mother during pregnancy. However, cleft palate and cleft lip can also be linked to genetic factors, the mother's environment, and even medications she may have taken before becoming pregnant. Ongoing research explores causative factors in cleft palate and cleft lip development, but the mother's actions during pregnancy are not always to blame.