'No such thing as safe amount of alcohol for a pregnant woman' - expert weighs in

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Pregnant women should abstain from alcohol completely because there is no clear information indicating a safe amount for consumption, an expert says.

Christine Rogan from the Foetal Alcohol Network says the recent case of a woman being denied a drink in an Auckland bar highlights how much mis-information there is on the issue.

"There is a lot of conflicting information out there, it concerns me that women are going to the internet to find out whether you can drink," Ms Rogan told TV ONE's Breakfast programme this morning.

"There is no such thing as a safe amount of alcohol when you're pregnant. Biological evidence tells us you can't measure a safe amount."

Ms Rogan's comments come after a waiter refused Nichola Hayes, who is 36 weeks pregnant with her second child, an alcoholic drink during a wedding anniversary night out.

Mrs Hayes, along with husband Michael, spoke to the duty manager, only to be told the restaurant's licence entitled it to "refuse to serve me alcohol ...for health reasons".

Brew Bar co-owner Sam Ansley has since apologised to Mrs Hayes.

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

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.

The Ministry advises that pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant should not consume alcohol.

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