After a baby is born with a cleft, parents are understandably concerned about the possibility of having another child with the same condition. While many cases of cleft lip and cleft palate can't be prevented, consider these steps to increase your understanding or lower your risk:

  • Consider genetic counseling. If you have a family history of cleft lip and cleft palate, tell your doctor before you become pregnant. Your doctor may refer you to a genetic counselor who can help determine your risk of having children with cleft lip and cleft palate.
  • Take prenatal vitamins. If you're planning to get pregnant soon, ask your doctor if you should take prenatal vitamins.
  • Don't use tobacco or alcohol. Use of alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby with a birth defect.
June 17, 2015