Feeding difficulties in cleft lip and palate (CLP) infants is commonly observed and is the most traumatic experience the family has to face. These infants are undernourished and have compromised growth. The purpose of this study was to 1) assess general health and growth parameters in children with CLP and in normal children; and 2) investigate the feeding methods of CLP infants and normal infants. A total of 221 children from birth to six years of both sexes, with CLP (60 children) and normal (161 children) were selected. The CLP and normal children were divided into three subgroups by age. The practice of feeding the infants in subgroup I was assessed using standard piloted questionnaires. The assessment of growth was done at baseline and at six months in all the subgroups.The general well being of the children was assessed by noting the number of common infections. Results showed that a significantly higher percentage of mothers with normal babies (p < 0.01) had a positive attitude towards breast feeding. When compared to normal children, CLP children were more susceptible to infections (p < 0.05) and measured significantly lower on the height growth curve(p < 0.05). Hence, height can be used to monitor growth in CLP children.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.