Waiter Refuses to Serve Pregnant Woman a Glass of Wine: Were They Right or Wrong?

Wine When Pregnant? via Babble
Wine When Pregnant? via Babble


Should a waiter refuse to serve a pregnant patron a glass of wine? That – my friends – is the question and a subject that is being debated over at BabyCenter – a conversation that comes on the heels of the recent study saying that moderate drinking is a-okay when pregnant.

This debate began when a BabyCenter community member posted the following message:

“Saturday night my friend, who is visiting from Boston, and I went out to eat. When the server approached the table she wouldn’t look at me. My friend ordered a glass of wine and before the server walked off, I said I would like one as well. 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.”

This became an issue because a total stranger made a judgment call be it based on their own moral code or their interpretation of serving safety (like not providing more drinks to someone who is drunk) on another person.  It was an intervention that appears to be not just unwelcome but most likely unjustified.   The comments over at BabyCenter in reaction to the post which are already over a thousand range from “The waiter was out of line,” to “I think the waiter did right”  to “Americans are far too uptight about an occasional glass of wine.” Like many a hot topic there are sides and people are sticking to them.

In full disclosure, I once played the role of overzealous waitress. When I was twenty I was bartending at a pseudo biker bar in San Francisco. I thought I knew everything and what was best for myself, my friends, my family and, yes,  total strangers. Yeah, I was “that girl.” One customer  – who had been a regular but hadn’t been in for a while came waddling up to the counter, very much knocked up. She ordered a beer. Me, in what I thought was a just call, told her I didn’t think she should be drinking and I refused to get her a beer. She caused a ruckus and finally just stormed off never to return to the bar again. In hindsight, I realized I had been pushing my opinion on someone else. But in my defense, this was during an era when most believed that drinking any kind of alcohol would and could ruin your baby. I – at the time – thought I was doing the best thing for her and her baby.

Where do you stand. If you were the waiter would you sever a pregnant woman a drink or not?

Photo credit: supafine from

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