DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cleft lip. Close-up of a five-week old baby's face showing a cleft lip. This is a birth defect caused by a failure of the face to fuse together correctly during the embryonic stage of development. It affects about one in every 900 babies. If only the lip is affected, as here, the baby can breast-feed normally. In the condition of cleft palate, the roof of the mouth also fails to join, and feeding must be done with a modified bottle. Cleft lip is usually repaired by surgery when the baby is around three months old. There are generally no complications, although dental management and speech therapy may be necessary in some cases.
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