Baby with clefted lip and pallate

Patient

Q: Hi, I had to abort my first baby, she had clefted lip and pallate problem. We are planning for next child. What precautions I need to take ?

Doctor

A:   Researchers believe that most cases of cleft lip and cleft palate are caused by an interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The fact that you and your husband are related could increase the chances of genetic conditions. Either the mother or the father can pass on genes that cause clefting, either as an isolated defect or as part of a syndrome that includes clefting as one of its signs. In some cases, babies inherit a gene that makes them more likely to develop a cleft, and then an environmental trigger actually causes the cleft to occur. Other common factors are exposure to cigarette smoke, alcohol, certain medications, illicit drugs and certain viruses have been linked to the development of a cleft.
I would suggest you to avoid the latter factors especially alcohol and tobacco and comply with your pre natal visits and take prenatal vitamins and minerals especially containing folic acid. Genetic counseling might also be helpful.

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