The NAM is not the only way or the best way to treat children with cleft lips and palates, before the right child and the right situation the NAM is the best device that gently helps with the least amount of pain. I still very strongly believe in the NAM but their are other methods that have work and can be necessary in certain situations. I still believe the NAM is a lot more ethical and less painful than the other methods. The NAM has so much potential and I completely understand parents work towards their kids but helping is a lot better than just leaving it be.

Their are some insticaeses where the NAM is not needed like in one of Ghanto from the babycenter, her cleft team didn’t think her child needed anything because the savagery of the cleft wasn’t as drastic as children with more drastic clefts need. This is perfectly fine, not every child’s cleft is going to work with the nam. The NAM is made to help close the gap that a cleft by guiding the growth of the child’s mouth. If the child’s lips can touch then they don’t need to be guided together.

I have learned that different clefts need different teachments and my nephew had a larger cleft lip and that why he had the NAM seattle children’s hospital states, “The Nam is used for children with larger or wider clefts, and has greatly changed cleft repair.”  Now it is much more clear why it helped him so much, because he was one of the kids that actually needed it. He was one that cause have used it. I wanted the NAM to help every child like it helped my nephew but I know that’s not possible now.

I know not that most kids aren’t as luck as my nephew to have a device that matches his cleft “With a smaller cleft, there is less tension when the surgeon closes the cleft. Molding the lip and nose in advance can mean less reshaping is needed during surgery” (Seattle Children’s Hospital). The kids with smaller cleft lips and palates done have these devices. The doctors will most likely say to tape so that the cleft doesn’t grow out, But their lips will still touch without it. This is why i think there should be specific treatments for different sized other than just retainers for the bigger ones.

I have learned with the NAM that every cleft and every child is different. We can cookie cut a child and say this will work on everyone when it doesn’t. Yes it helped my nephew but his cleft was right for a NAM he had such a big gap before the NAM compared to after the nam. This is my nephew Jaxson. The first picture at the bottom right is his cleft gap it was 30 millimeters, it was taken the day he was born. The last picture in the top left is a few hours before surgery. If you compare them, his lip is touching after the NAM and the taping that my sister did every day.

You can also see the tape that held the NAM in place. “It can ba extremly stressful doing the taping everyday. I experienced a lot of anxiety when we would hold our son down to tape his face” (Baby Center). Yes that isn’t fun when your child cries, but it’s worth it  in the end cause you helping them. They don’t understand what the retainer does for them but if you power threw it ti helps them and my nephew is proof.

If he were to not have had the NAM his lip would still be that 30 millimeter and his lip would have had to be fuzed together by surgery and it would have had to be stretched across that distance. Now to be if the lip is already touching the healing process after the surgery would have hurt way less because it would have been stretched like that. The article Causes of cleft & palate” write by the staff at the University of Virginia stated, ”The chances of having a baby with a cleft palate (without a cleft lip) is thought to be 1 in every 3000 live births” (Causes of cleft & palate). I want people to know how common this is and how many babies have to go threw this as a young age.

It how much help so many, but its not made for everyone. Yes people can understand why you would get the latham or not have the NAM for a cleft palate but this paper has helped to teach that not every kid is the same. Not every person is the same.  


  • Babycenter. Expert info for pregnancy & parenting. Retrieved from
  • Cleftopedia. “Latham.” Cleftopedia,
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital. Retrieved from
  • Causes of Cleft Lip & Palate. 2019. Retrieved 2019, from…lip…/causes-of-cleft-lip-palate/
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