Prenatal Consultations at the UI Health Craniofacial Center
The Craniofacial Center gets referrals for prenatal consults after a craniofacial condition such as a facial cleft has been identified in a routine prenatal ultrasound. Prenatal ultrasounds help doctors see the unborn baby’s anatomy. If a cleft lip is identified in the prenatal ultrasound, the doctors may order additional tests to rule out other conditions associated with facial clefts. Sometimes, it can be difficult to identify a cleft palate in the prenatal ultrasound. Therefore, the expectant parents do not know whether their unborn baby has a cleft lip and palate or just a cleft lip.
The nurse team coordinator arranges a prenatal consult which entails meeting our well-respected and experienced pediatric plastic surgeon and the other cleft team members. The team includes the speech language pathologist, pediatric psychologist, audiologist, prosthodontist, pediatrician, and nurse coordinator. Each team member explains their role in treating the baby's facial cleft condition and asks any questions the expectant parents may have about their unborn child.
Our job at the Craniofacial Center is to make sure expectant parents feel comfortable asking questions and getting answers about their baby's facial cleft (cleft lip or cleft lip and palate) condition and to reassure them that we will help take care of their baby from the newborn period throughout childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. We also have parent volunteers whose children are patients of the center and provide to support to the expectant parents.