I myself haven't gone through it but a coworker has. There are a lot of surgeries and I'm not sure you can nurse but you can pump and bottle feed him. As terrible as it is to see your precious baby suffer through surgery it will be better to do young so he doesn't remember and will also give him very minimal scarring. So if it does happen just realize its great they know so early and the surgeries will be a blessing in the end when he's all healed
I have a cousin who adopted a little boy who was abandoned because of his clef lip and palate. What we did for him was find the nearest Shriners hospital around. They don't care what your family income is, they will take care of any surgery on your little guy for free till he is eighteen. Often they even have a place for the family. It is quite an amazing organizatio! They specialize in bone problems in children, and burns. It sounds scary now, but there is an actor, Joaquine Phoenix, who had a clef lip and palate. It was fixed when he was young, and look at him now! Good luck, and stay positive!
Joaquin Phoenix did not have a cleft lip or palate. He almost had a cleft lip but it closed up on its own inutero. My son was born with a incomplete lateral cleft of the lip and gum. We did not know until he was born. He was able to breastfeed just fine. When he did use a bottle we had to use orthodontic nipples by doc brown. He has had one surgery when he was 6 mths old. He is now 7. He will have to have braces and possibly gum surgery as he is missing some of the bone in the gum. Its not anything to stress about, they did say possible. Start taking folic acid pills along with you prenatal vitamins, that is what my ob told me to do with this pregnancy and my baby is fine. 1 in 700 babies are born with cleft lip and or palate. We also had genetic testing done when he went in to have his surgery and found out that it is hereditary. Talk to your family and you SO there maybe someone that had it and you just didn't know about it. My husbands paternal aunt have cleft lip/palate when she was born and that is where my sons came from. Do some research on your own so that you will be better able to understand what is going on.
My friend's first baby had a cleft palate. She wasn't able to nurse or take a bottle and had to have a feeding tube until her surgery was complete and healed. She's thirteen now and perfectly fine although she does have some speech problems but she also has a lot of ear problems too so I don't know if her speech is caused by the cleft palate or just coincidental.