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Can cleft lips and cleft palates be prevented?

Most cleft lips and cleft palates are caused by a genetic or developmental error that was not preventable. However, in some cases the genes are influenced by other factors. The best way to reduce risk of a cleft defect is for any woman who might get pregnant to take a prenatal vitamin, avoid dangerous medications, quit smoking and limit alcohol intake.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.