Social Experiment Shows What People Really Think of Pregnant Women Drinking

pregnant woman drinking beerWhen it comes to women drinking alcohol during pregnancy, opinions run pretty strong. We've seen stories in which pregnant women are blasted when seen drinking in public, or even kicked out of bars just because alcohol is served there; and some stars, like Kate Hudson, have been bashed in the past for sipping a little wine.

So, many pregnant women are -- not without just reason -- terrified to take even a sip of alcohol in public if they're sporting a baby bump. While there's some debate in the medical community about how much, if any, alcohol is safe during pregnancy, in the end, it is (extreme cases excluded) a personal decision every woman should be able to make for herself and her baby without nosy strangers poking their nose into her glass. But are there really that many nosy strangers out there ready to pounce on a pregnant woman for drinking?


The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Organization Syndrome (MOFOS) recently conducted a social media experiment at the Minnesota State Fair to see just what people would say when they saw a pregnant woman drinking. The results were surprising.

The seemingly pregnant woman (she wasn't really pregnant, just wearing padding to look as if she was) was planted milling about the fair drinking beer. But instead of concerned fair-goers chastising her or trying to get her to put down her cup, they pretty much didn't care. A few even offered her kudos for drinking while carrying her child (huh?).

There were some comments under people's breath and perhaps a few dirty looks, but for the most part, people didn't give her a second look or try to stop her. Organizers say it shows more work is necessary. "They are not comfortable yet approaching somebody and I think that is part of our mission yet," said Emily Gunderson of MOFOS.

But is that a mission we'd really like to see accomplished? I think it would be hard for even the strongest opponents of pregnant women drinking to pass judgment in this case if they were just passing by the woman. There were too many unknowns, like what if it was non-alcoholic beer? Was it her first or her fifth?

If you were sitting in a restaurant next to a pregnant woman and could hear just how many vodka tonics she ordered and watched her drink them down, that would be a different story. In such an obvious case of overindulgence, I think most people would jump in at that point, or at least I hope they would. But when it comes to people minding their manners when they don't know enough about the situation to judge, I'm glad to see that at least in Minnesota, they do a pretty good job of it.

What would you do if you saw a pregnant woman drinking alcohol? Would you try to stop her, or would you chalk it up to it being her own decision?

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