Background: Receiving the news that their child has a health condition, such as a cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P), can have a considerable psychological impact on parents. Yet previous research has highlighted parental dissatisfaction and service-related issues.
Aims: To investigate the experiences of parents of children born with CL/P in relation to postnatal diagnosis and neonatal care.
Method: Data were collected from 470 parents using an online mixed-methods survey.
Findings: The majority of participants received their diagnosis and postnatal care from a midwife. 61% were satisfied with their overall diagnostic experience. However, participants also perceived a lack of sensitivity, knowledge and empathy from hospital staff. Further issues were raised regarding the implications of a ‘delayed’ diagnosis including feeding difficulties.
Conclusion: Better training and support for midwives is recommended to address the challenges associated with the postnatal diagnosis and neonatal care of children with CL/P.