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Smoking and cleft lip

Smoking and cleft lip

A recent analysis of 24 different studies showed there was a significant association between mothers who smoke in early pregnancy and the development of a cleft lip in the baby (a gap in the upper lip) and/or cleft palate (a hole in the roof of the mouth). A woman has approximately a 30 percent increased risk of having a baby with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate and a 20 percent increased risk of having a baby with a cleft palate if she smokes. This is another reason why women planning to be come pregnant or who are newly pregnant should try to cease or reduce smoking.

 Dr Hannah Dahlen is the Associate Professor of Midwifery at the University of Western Sydney. She has been a midwife for more than 20 years. Hannah is also an executive member of the Australian College of Midwives, NSW Branch. She has researched women's birth experiences at home and in hospital and published extensively in this area. Hannah's website is www.hannahdahlen.com.au

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