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The combined skills of various specialists will be used to treat your child’s condition. The specialists on the cleft team will work with you to ensure that your baby receives the treatment he or she needs. There are 4 main cleft units in New Zealand, you will be assigned to the one closest to where you live.

The specialists you see in the core team and who are most often at combined clinics may include Plastic Surgeons, Speech-Language Therapists, an Orthodontist, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialists, and Nurses. Other specialists involved in your child’s care may include Dentists, Dieticians, Lactation Consultants and Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Your baby may not require all of the specialities, and some people will require additional procedures. Remember that the treatment for each child is planned to suit individual needs.

You will visit the Cleft Team soon after your baby is born to meet the team of specialists who will care for you and your baby.

At the maternity ward you may also see a Paediatrician, who checks your baby’s overall health.

A Speech Language Therapist (SLT) helps you to establish feeding. As does a Lactation Consultant (LC).

As with all new babies this is a time of celebration and getting to know each other. Many emotions arrive with the birth of a baby – remember to share your feelings you can ring and speak to another mum on 0800 4 CLEFT (0800425338)