Cleft lip is a condition in which a baby's upper lip does not fully develop and has an opening. Cleft palate is a birth defect in which a baby's palate (mouth roof) does not fully develop and has a gap. Oral clefts, also known as orofacial clefts, are birth defects.
Birth defects are medical disorders that exist at the time of birth. They alter the appearance or function of one or more body parts. Birth defects can affect one's physical health, as well as how the body grows and functions. Cleft lip and palate are two of the most common birth defects. In Africa, about 1 or 2 out of 1,000 babies (less than 1%) are born with cleft lip and palate each year.
Some cleft lip babies have just a tiny notch in their upper lip. Others have a wider hole or opening in the lip that extends across the lip and into the nose. A cleft lip may affect a baby's lip on one or both sides. It's unusual to have a cleft in the middle of the lip.
Some Causes of Cleft are:
- family history of cleft lip and cleft palate
- smoking or drinking during Pregnancy
- lack or deficiency of nutrients like folic acid, before and during pregnancy
- having diabetes during pregnancy
- obesity during pregnancy
- Taking Anti-seizure medications such as topiramate or valproic acid during pregnancy.
Prevention of Cleft lip;
You can't always keep your baby from having a cleft lip or palate. However, there are things you can do to help reduce the risk of your baby developing these birth defects.
1.Take folic acid. Before pregnancy, take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid in it every day. Take a prenatal vitamin with 600 micrograms of folic acid every day during pregnancy.
2. Don't smoke or consume alcoholic beverages. Brew, wine, and liquor are examples of alcoholic beverages.
3. Get a preconception test. This is a pre-pregnancy medical examination to ensure that you are well before you become pregnant.
4.Attain a healthy weight before becoming pregnant, and speak with your doctor about gaining a healthy amount of weight while pregnant.
5.Check with your doctor to see if any medications you're taking are safe to use during pregnancy. It's possible that you'll need to quit taking a medication or move to a better one.
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