A hare lip with a baby occurs in about 1 in 1000 babies. A hare lip is also called schisis. Probably it is better to use the word schisis because it is less insulting. When it does not occur in the family, the chance of a cleft is 2%. Read in this blog what a schisis is, whether it is hereditary and what is the cause of a hare lip in a baby. You can also read here if a schisis can be prevented.
What is a cleft lip or cleft?
A cleft lip, or better cleft is a congenital defect in the face. Schisis is the Greek word for 'crack'. The characteristic of a cleft is a cleft in lip, jaw and / or palate.
When the term 'hazenlip' is used, one often immediately thinks of a visible crack in the lip, but there are multiple forms of clefts. There are single slits where there is one slit visible, but it can also be two. This is called a double-sided slit. It can also occur that there is a combination, such as a slit in both the lip and in the jaw. Or a slit that runs from the lip to the jaw and then to the palate. The different forms of a cleft are:
- Lip gap.
- Lip jaw gap.
- Heavenly crevice.
- Lip-jaw-palate cleft.
A cleft can be caused by hereditary factors or when something goes wrong during the construction of the face. In the beginning of the pregnancy the face of your baby is formed. This happens between the 6th and 12th week of pregnancy. When the face is developed, it is quite normal that there is a double-sided slit in the lip, jaw and palate at the beginning. A lip-jaw-palate slit.
In most children this gap grows close during the further development of the face. First the fissures in the lip and the upper jaw merge. The gaps then close in the palate. This complex development of the closing of the lip, jaw and palate is sensitive to external factors. A minor disturbance can already ensure that the closing is no longer successful.
There are indications that drinking alcohol, using certain medicines, diabetes, smoking and certain agricultural poison can cause a disturbance. But this has not yet been proven. It may therefore also be that the disturbance is caused by something else.
Is a cleft lip hereditary?
Unfortunately, a cleft can be hereditary. If one of the parents or someone else in the family has (or has had) a cleft, it may be that the parent passes on this condition.
Another cause of cleft is a deviation in the chromosomes. This chromosome abnormality is caused during fertilization. Usually the cleft is then accompanied by other birth defects. There is then a syndrome. A syndrome is a collection of various symptoms. Whether this can be transferred to children depends on the cause of the condition. If in doubt, you can always check with the doctor.
Can you see a hare lip on the ultrasound?
Unfortunately, there is no special test that can detect a clearing early. Sometimes a lip gap or jaw gap can be seen on the 20-week ultrasound. Not a palate cleft. This can only be detected by means of an extensive ultrasound scan.
Because a cleft lip can be caused by hereditary factors or by a 'mistake' in the construction, it is very difficult to prevent it. What can help to reduce the chance of a cleft is folic acid. Start by swallowing folic acid about 4 weeks before you become pregnant.
Since you can not plan the pregnancy completely, you can just start it from the moment you stop contraception and decide to let your child wish. You can continue to take extra folic acid until you are 10 weeks pregnant. After this it is no longer necessary.
Complaints caused by cleft or cleft lip in a baby
A hare lip with a baby can cause various complaints. For example: