Debate: Should a Waiter Refuse to Serve Wine to a Pregnant Woman?

Yes, it's true that dietary rules and pregnancy go together like peanut butter and jelly -- or should we say, Ben & Jerry's. But deciding to indulge in a piece of sushi here and there, maybe going ahead and ordering that deli turkey sandwich you've been craving or -- hold on to your Baby Bjorns -- imbibing in a glass of wine now or then, is between you and your doctor.

Some say, by all means, yes, an occasional sip is fine. Some say don't risk it. Ever. And, sure, you might get a few stares or glares -- or even some winks or glances -- but it's your body, your decision, right? Well, BabyCenter reports one waitress decided it was her decision, refusing to serve a pregnant patron, according to one of the website's community members.

"My friend ordered a glass of wine and before the server walked off, I said I would like one as well," the woman posted. "She said she can't serve me. I said, 'my OB says a glass of wine in moderation is ok.' She replied that she has heard that before and still refused to serve me. I was flabbergasted, embarrassed and downright p*ssed. I ate my meal with my friend and decided not to make a scene. When I got home that night I looked up the law. Essentially she violated my civil rights, and discriminated against me: See section 52 of the Civil Code in California."

The BabyCenter comments following this woman's story were mixed. One commenter writes, "True, the waiter had no way of knowing if the woman wanted a one off glass for a special dinner out with a friend, or if she's an alcoholic, but it was not [her] place to decide. We need to be very careful about ideas and trends that take away a woman's autonomy and reduce her to a mere incubator. An adult woman can make a reasonable choice to drink a glass of wine and should not need to justify that."

Others felt the restaurant worker did the right thing: "If I was the waitress I wouldn't give her a glass of wine either. I just wouldn't feel comfortable. I don't know why anyone would want to consume things that may harm their baby. Even if it is a small chance, It is sooo not worth it!"

We think this poster is right to feel flabbergasted. While it's true that U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends no alcohol during pregnancy, several studies, including this month's research out of Denmark that finds children of women who drank one to eight drinks per week while they were pregnant showed no adverse effects, at the least, leave the question up for debate.

Don't want to drink alcohol during your pregnancy? Great. Don't drink. But if a pregnant woman chooses to order a glass of Chardonnay with her dinner, that is no business of yours, ours or the wait staff serving her. Would the waitress have denied an obese man from ordering a bacon cheeseburger and fries?

When Kate Hudson was snapped tasting a Malbec last year while she was pregnant, one iVillage commenter wrote, "Her body, her choice. Kate is not a stupid girl, I am sure she is doing everything in moderation. I personally, think it is her own business, not ours."

We couldn't agree more.

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