The Zofran Debate

This topic has become extremely controversial within our loving cleft community. I’ve seen this topic turn moms against each other within support groups during heated debates. I’ve seen this topic make parents of cleft affected children go crazy on parents of non cleft affected children on social media sponsored ads. And I’ve seen a lot of people taking offense to the fact that the term “cleft palate” is being used in such negative context, which is undoubtedly justifiable.

The truth is, we all love our babies and wouldn’t change them for the world. So there’s no question as to why mama bear comes out when we see the endless ads on Facebook, the commercials repeating over and over, and we all have that one friend that HAS to continuously post the link to your Facebook wall. Having a cleft palate is NOT something negative, so why are they portraying it as so? Or should I ask, why are we allowing ourselves to think they are portraying it in a negative way?

I don’t have the statistical facts, but just from what I’ve seen throughout support groups, there are far more cleft moms who did NOT take Zofran while pregnant than those who have. But does that mean we should shun the moms who did? What if there is a link? What if…just if…this drug did cause some of these children’s clefts and it can be prevented in the future? Although we love our children exactly the way they are, I don’t think any of us enjoy watching our babies undergo surgery after surgery.

With that said, there is one thing we all have in common, whether or not we took Zofran… we’ve all sought answers at one point or another. In some cases, we know it was a clear case of genetics, but then there are other instances that are completely isolated…was it still genetics? Was it environmental? Was it something “I” did? Can our children pass this gene down to our grandchildren? We’ve all asked ourselves these questions, and while Zofran might not be the answer for most, it might be the answer for a few.

So next time you hear the word “Zofran” and “cleft” in the same sentence, especially from a fellow cleft mommy, try not to let mama bear come out so quickly. You never know what the person on the other end might be going through. Let’s continue to be the biggest, most supportive community to one another and not allow any “topic” to tear us apart.

If anyone took Zofran while pregnant and has any questions, please contact Joe Santoli at 800-279-6996 or Mariam Barish at 215-790-4571.