“Some women drink anyway—in part because friends, family members and even some obstetricians say an occasional drink isn’t likely to cause harm.”

In the sixth to 12th week of pregnancy, a fetus’s bones, brain and central nervous system are forming. Buds blossom into arms and legs, and internal organs start to function. A face with eyelids, lips and other features appears.

Melinda Beck on Lunch Break looks at the latest in warnings for pregnant women on drinking alcohol during their pregnancies.

This is also the time when a mother’s alcohol consumption poses the greatest risk of doing lifelong physical damage to her baby, according to a new study of nearly 1,000 women who drank at least once in their pregnancies.

On average, the women drank a small fraction of a drink a day. But some downed as many as 12 drinks a day—well above the amount considered safe for the women’s own health—and binged frequently.

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