Cleft Bottle Project
Love Without Boundaries Cleft Bottle Project is putting soft-sided bottles designed for feeding cleft-affected children into the hands of families and caregivers throughout China. In the past, children with this condition were at great risk of failure to thrive because their basic sucking reflex was inhibited. Now, with the soft-sided bottles, caregivers have the ability to gently squeeze formula into the mouth of the child, providing much needed nourishment in the critical first weeks of life.
In 2012, Love Without Boundaries worked with the Mead Johnson Company, makers of the 6 oz. Cleft Lip/Palate Nurser, to produce these specially designed bottles within China. Last summer a case of soft squeezable bottles was delivered to three different hospitals in poor rural areas. Detailed fliers were also delivered along with the bottles. These fliers included breast and bottle feeding information, instructions on how to position a child when using the bottles, cleaning and care information, and contact information for charitable organizations that can provide surgery if needed. The bottles and informational fliers were welcomed with open arms by hospital and orphanage staff as well as parents of children with cleft lip. A new larger order of cleft bottles has recently been delivered to Guandong, Gansu and Sichuan Provinces as well as Inner Mongolia.
Through this campaign to educate new familes about the innovative way of providing nourishment for their cleft-affected child, Love Without Boundaries hope is to give confidence to parents that their child will be able to thrive and live a healthy life despite their special need. The ultimate hope is that more children will stay with their families when the parents are given the means to feed their child and eventually, in time, seek out affordable surgery.
The 2015 Cleft Medical Exchange
Over the course of the past week four American doctors and a team of medical and logistical volunteers worked side by side with cleft specialist in China to perform 38 cleft lip and palate surgeries on children from various provinces. Partnering with Kaifeng Children’s Hospital, this team of doctors also offered training to medical staff in China in advanced cleft lip and palate procedures. Children arrived from poor rural villages, some came from local orphanages and healing homes, and several older children with more complex clefts traveled from distant provinces to seek this surgery.
Click here for an inspiring, encouraging, and absolutley uplifting account of the 2015 Cleft Medical Exchange!