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Diagnosing cleft lip and palate

Clefts in unborn babies are often detected with an ultrasound examination during a routine antenatal appointment. This antenatal scan takes place at around 20 weeks and enables parents to discuss questions or concerns with specialist nurses.

If a cleft lip or palate is not picked up during an antenatal appointment, the cleft is nearly always diagnosed soon after birth. However, some cases, for example a submucous cleft palate where the cleft is hidden in the lining of the mouth, may not be detected for several months or even years, when speech problems develop