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What Causes Cleft Lip and Palate?

Cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital conditions that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth does not form properly during pregnancy. The exact cause is not always known. It is important to remember that when your baby has a cleft, the cleft is most often not the mother or father’s fault.

The cause of cleft lip and cleft palate is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some potential causes may include genetic mutations, maternal smoking or alcohol consumption during pregnancy, certain medications taken during pregnancy, or nutritional deficiencies.

Early prenatal care and genetic counseling can help reduce the risk of these conditions. Prenatal 20 week ultrasound can detect the occurrence of cleft lip and palate. The Kansas Cleft and Craniofacial Center offers prenatal consultation when a cleft lip and/or palate is diagnosed in utero, by ultrasound. We can offer valuable information to counsel you, walk you through future steps of treatment, and reassure you. Don’t hesitate to reach out us if your baby has been diagnosed with a cleft lip and/or palate. ‎