Did You Know?

Women can take steps
before and during
pregnancy to reduce the
risk of having a baby
born with birth defects.
Such steps include taking
a daily multivitamin with
folic acid (400 micrograms),
not smoking, and not
drinking alcohol during
pregnancy.

Prevention

In many cases, it is not possible for a cleft lip and palate to be prevented. However, pregnant women can do certain things to lower the risk of their child being born with a cleft lip and palate. These are described below.

  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol while pregnant.
  • During pregnancy, maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Ensuring that you have a healthy pregnancy will help reduce the risks of your baby developing a cleft.
  • Folic acid supplements.
  • Most doctors recommend that all women should take a daily supplement of 0.4mg of folic acid before they conceive and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy while the baby's spine develops.
  • Some doctors also believe that taking folic acid supplements during pregnancy may reduce the risk of cleft lip and palate. However, this has not been proven in scientific studies.
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