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Don't Get Lippy & Smile Train

A couple of weeks ago, I was announced as a Smile Train Ambassador! Learning in recent weeks what they do has made me want to be part of their family, raising awareness of the cleft condition as well as their amazing work in over 90+ counties worldwide. I did an IGTV video announcing the partnership which you can see here! When speaking to other Smile Train Ambassadors and doing some research, I found out: * Smile Train's local staff and medical partners actively find babies and children in developing countries to make them aware of the 100%-free Smile Train-supported surgery available to them * Smile Train offer a comprehensive cleft care service, including speech therapy, nutritional services and psychological input...

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Your Story - Q&A with Kelly

1.  Hi! Tell me a little about yourself and your family!  Hi, my names Kelly and myself and partner Bradley are Mum and Dad to 3 and half year old Bailey and 8 month old George.  2.  What type of cleft was George born with? George was born with a right sided cleft lip and palate with gum involvement. His palate cleft is actually nearer bilateral than unilateral.  3.  When did you find out about the cleft? We were first told about George’s cleft at the 20 week anomaly scan. We had gone to this scan completely full of excitement and fixated on 1 factor: Boy or girl, pink or blue, brother or sister. It had never even occurred to...

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Expressing Colostrum for Expectant Mamas

When I was pregnant with Will, I was forewarned that feeding from the start may be in issue.  This was so disheartening but at least I was aware that there could be issues.  Most of you will know Will's feeding journey if you have been following for a while, but in summary: couldn't bottle feed, had an NG tube for 6 months and started cup feeding around 16 weeks and weaning from 17 weeks.  However, that is only our journey, lots of people have no issues at all and there are some success stories with pumping and even breastfeeding! Our cleft nurse mentioned during my pregnancy that it could be worth looking into colostrum harvesting.  At that point I had no idea...

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What to pack for surgery!

Any surgery is daunting but especially when its for your baby's surgery.  Also, with cleft surgery, there is only nine Centres of Excellence in the UK which means often families have to travel to their closest hospital which may mean a stay over the night before and/or after the surgery.  Often the question comes up about what to pack for the baby but the parents too! From our experience of going up to The Evelina (London) twice this year, I have the following recommendations for packing!  Baby  Milk Take it with you if you can!  If your baby is on a special formula, it may be worth calling to see if they stock it in the hospital.  Will was on...

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Your Story - Kelly & George

Hello my name is Kelly, mum to 2 boys - Bailey who is 3 and George who is 11 weeks old. George was born with a complete unilateral right sided cleft and palate with gum involvement. My pregnancies for both were fairly straightforward. 12 week scan confirmed everything was okay so we began to share the news Bailey was going to be a big brother. The 20 week scan was heavily focussed on would the baby be blue or pink, boy or girl, a new brother or sister. But, this is where things took a turn. We told the sonographer at the beginning of the scan we would like to know the sex, but at the end. This is the...

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