As the causes of omphaloceles are largely unknown, there is no certain means of preventing them. However, based on research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are some steps women who are pregnant or may become pregnant can take to possibly reduce their chances of having a baby with an omphalocele. For example, pregnant women who drink alcohol or smoke more than a pack per day of cigarettes are more likely to have a baby with an omphalocele, as are women taking antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or women who were obese or overweight before becoming pregnant. These women should consult with the doctors about steps they can take to reduce their child’s chances of developing an omphalocele.
If prenatal testing identifies an omphalocele, the mother should be monitored to ensure that the unborn baby remains healthy, and plans should be made to deliver the baby in a medical center that is skilled at repairing these hernias.