India has a big problem with children being born with cleft lip or palate. It is a very common disorder in this country with one child in every 700 being born with the disorders. They have negative impact on the children as they become a laughing stock. They become shy and introvert and avoid going to school where they know they will be teased by the other children.

Scientists have found that folic acid consumption by pregnant women significantly cuts the risk not only of the neural tube defects, which has been previously found, but also of children being born with a cleft lip.

Taking a daily dose of 400 micrograms of folic acid supplements early in pregnancy is substantial for reducing the risk of cleft lip in babies by 40%.

Proper nutrition, rich in vegetables and fruits, loaded with folic acid i.e. vitamin B along with supplementation cuts the risk by additional 25%. Foods most rich in folic acid are leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and whole grains.

The problem with India is that although there are many new techniques available for treating severe cleft lips there is still lack of awareness about them as well as lack of experience in operating.

International NGO 'Smile Train' has been providing free surgical treatment to the poor with cleft lip and giving free training to doctors.
There are over 90 centers now that are performing the surgeries and for the last 2,5 years there have been over 65,000 successful surgeries within these centers.

With the new findings, the mothers will be able now to prevent the chances of their children being born with cleft palate.