Bar’s decision to refuse pregnant woman wine divides opinion

Bar’s Decision To Refuse Pregnant Woman Wine Divides Opinion

Retrieved from: By ONE News Reporters Ali Ventura and Sam Hurley

Published: 1:43PM Wednesday March 18, 2015 Source: ONE News

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A decision to refuse a heavily pregnant woman alcohol at a popular Auckland bar has divided opinion, while Ministry of Health statistics show one in five women drink while pregnant.

Nichola Hayes, who is 36 weeks pregnant with her second child, was refused an alcoholic drink during a wedding anniversary night out at Newmarket’s Brew Bar yesterday.

UntitledThis afternoon she told she was not interested in discussing the matter further but spoke earlier about the embarrassing incident.

“One glass of bubbles for a consenting non-intoxicated adult at advanced state of pregnancy,” a flabbergasted Mrs Hayes told NZME today.

“I do see both sides of the story but at the same time many women drink within the first three months of pregnancy without knowing they are pregnant and when the foetus is at its most vulnerable.”

“I think it is very much a grey area and would be interested in what other bars do in this situation.”

The latest Ministry of Health survey for alcohol use shows in 2012/13 about one in five women drank alcohol at some point during their pregnancy.

Pregnant StomachMrs Hayes, along with husband Michael, spoke to the duty manager, only to be told the restaurant’s license entitled it to “refuse to serve me alcohol …for health reasons.”

“If I was in their shoes and a woman who was pregnant was ordering up large, I’d be questioning it as well,” she said.

“But I’m an educated woman who knows the limits and have been so careful throughout the whole pregnancy.”

“I thought right, this is our one night out, I’d have one glass of bubbles – I wouldn’t do anything more than that.”

Brew Bar co-owner Sam Ansley has since apologised to the pregnant woman and believes the situation is a grey area for bar tenders.

“He [the bar tender] erred on the side of caution,” he said. “It’s not our policy. We shouldn’t discriminate.”

ONE News readers were divided over the bar’s decision to refuse alcohol to Mrs Hayes on theONE News Facebook page today.

Charlotte Meiklejohn, a bar manager herself, says she understood why Brew Bar staff felt a sense of responsibility.

“As a Duty Manager it’s our own discretion as to who we do and don’t serve. I would be uncomfortable serving alcohol to someone pregnant, therefore I agree with this bar,” she posted on the ONE News Facebook page.

Gilda Kirkpatrick, however, believes the staff were misinformed and acted unprofessionally.

“The woman was right! Please get the bar to provide one research or study or one professional specialist in that field to say or show that a glass of wine is harmful for a pregnant woman or the baby!”

The Ministry of Health advises on their website that pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant should not consume alcohol.

“There is no known safe level of alcohol use at any stage of pregnancy.”

The Ministry states that women who drink alcohol while pregnant are more likely to give birth to babies who are smaller, premature, have developmental, behavioural or physical problems – known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

It may be that even a low intake of alcohol is harmful to your unborn baby, the Ministry adds.

Paula Ryan says that alcohol was not the only food and beverage that is potentially damaging to a pregnant woman’s health.

“So if she ordered shell fish would he refuse to serve that as well, also apparently not good while pregnant and pate and soft cheese etc. don’t think one wine is going to do any harm especially with food. Most women don’t even know their pregnant for the first 6 weeks and that’s usually when they drink.”

Andrea Hill says Brew Bar “did the right thing”.

“She is an educated woman and should know better. I could only just imagine what fire the restaurant would be under if anything went wrong with the rest of this woman’s pregnancy, delivery or issues with the baby once born. The restaurant would be the first to be blamed,” she posted.

According to the New Zealand Health Survey results, of the women who drank while pregnant, the majority reported past-year risky drinking.

The survey found most women who were pregnant altered their drinking behaviour before and during pregnancy.

More than two-thirds of women who were pregnant in the 12 months before the survey say they received advice not to drink during pregnancy.

What are your thoughts? What would you have done if you were the server?

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