"I also had high hopes for breastfeeding after the first surgery. However, [my baby] was just so used to basically a chewing like motion with his feedings that he was unable to suck at all. Dr. Warnock explained that some babies are able to breastfeed if your letdown is powerful, but you would likely still need to pump in order to get the hind-milk since suction is needed for that. I felt that it was just too frustrating for him and me that it interfered with the process. Every situation is different so I encourage you to give it a try."
"I think that if you want to give it a try, then you totally should! I would contact a Le Leche League person, to help you have the best chance possible. However, I do know that after my son had the hard and soft palate fixed (about 1yr old) he was still not able to even use a normal sippy cup. It is not just the fact that the holes are all gone... it's also an issue of these kids not using the muscles in the soft palate... so it takes a while for them to learn to use them and to have the normal sucking strength. So, it may take you longer, but if it is something you really want to do, then you should go for it!"
"I think that if your baby's cleft is small enough and the prosthesis seals off the cleft, you might be able breastfeed. Medela makes a Supplemental Nursing System that you could try. It enables babies to feed at the breast before they know how to suck by giving them either expressed milk or formula through a device that is hooked up to you. It might be a good way to try to see if your baby can suck without starving him or losing your milk supply. I read an article once about a woman whose baby's palate was completely repaired at 6 or 7 months and she used this until her baby mastered sucking."