The Rate of Breast Milk Feeding in Patients with Orofacial Clefts at a Multidisciplinary Cleft care providing center in Ethiopia


  • Bereket Atnafu Worku Plastic Surgery
  • Mekonen Eshete


breast milk feeding, orofacial clefts, feeding counseling, Ethiopia


Objective: - To assess the rates of breast milk feeding among children born with orofacial clefts at the only multidisciplinary cleft care providing center in Ethiopia. 

Methodology: - Parents of children born with Cleft Lip and/or Palate (CL/P), treated and on follow up at our center were interviewed using structured questionnaire. They were asked about the delivery status (attended or unattended), regrading feeding practices, whether they received feeding counseling or not and related questions. The data collection was done for 5 months from August 1-to December 30, 2018.

Results and Recommendations: - we retrieved data from 61 parents of children born with orofacial clefts.  In this study 92% of the participants had institutional delivery. In spite of this only 47% of the parents received feeding counselling and demonstration. This study found out low breast milk feeding rate among cleft babies and low professional counselling for successful breast milk feeding. This could be because the nurses, midwives and other health professionals did not have enough understanding on how to feed a child born with CL/P. We also found that very few parents used supportive feeding devices.

Conclusion: We assessed the practice of breast milk feeding in patients born with orofacial clefts for the first time in Ethiopia and found out that it is much lower than the non-cleft population. We recommend including cleft feeding counseling in the training of midwifes and nurses providing delivery service. It is also important to make supportive feeding devises (bottles) available as we found them unavailable.


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How to Cite

Worku, B. A., & Eshete, M. (2020). The Rate of Breast Milk Feeding in Patients with Orofacial Clefts at a Multidisciplinary Cleft care providing center in Ethiopia . Ethiopian Medical Journal, 59(01). Retrieved from