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Bar apologises for not serving pregnant woman

A bar has apologised to a heavily pregnant women after staff refused to serve her a glass of wine, dividing opinion on what has been described as a “grey area” for bar staff.

Nichola Hayes, who is 36 weeks pregnant with her second child, was refused an alcoholic drink during a wedding anniversary night out at the Brew Bar in Auckland, New Zealand, as reported by

After being refused a glass of wine, Mrs Hayes spoke to the duty manager who told her the restaurant’s license entitled it to refuse to serve her alcohol for “health reasons”.

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

A bar manager herself, Mrs Hayes said she understood “both sides of the story”, speaking to NZME, but added that 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”, she said.

The bar’s owner, Sam Ansley, has since apologised for the incident. “He [the bar tender] erred on the side of caution,” he said. “It’s not our policy. We shouldn’t discriminate.”

Current guidance from the UK Department for Health states that if you’re pregnant you should avoid alcohol altogether, and that if you do opt to have a drink you should have no more than one or two units of alcohol (one small glass of wine) once or twice a week.

The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) says it is safest for women to abstain completely during pregnancy, but adds that small amounts of alcohol in pregnancy (not more than one to two units once or twice a week) have not been shown to be harmful.

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