Cleft lip and palate is a congenital anomaly, presenting in a wide variety of forms and combinations. It is the most common physical birth defect and occurs once in every 500-1000 children.
What to look for
Cleft lip ranges from notching of the lip to a complete gap, involving the floor of the nose, and may be associated with the hard and/or soft palate. It results from incomplete facial development during pregnancy.
It can be treated with surgery shortly after birth with highly successful results. Parents will need reassurance and help with feeding the infant.
Smoking ― women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with an orofacial cleft than women who do not smoke
Diabetes ― women with diabetes diagnosed before pregnancy have an increased risk of having a child with a cleft lip with or without cleft palate, compared to women who did not have diabetes
Use of certain medicines ― certain medicines to treat epilepsy, during the first 3 months of pregnancy have an increased risk of having a baby with cleft lip with or without cleft palate, compared to women who didn’t take these medicines
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