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Pregnant Chefs..How did you cope?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have been in the industry for the past 12 years and am about to have my first child. Children had never been a high priority for me (always working-go figure!) so now that i am pregnant i would like to hear other peoples experiences with being pregnant and still working etc....
At the moment no one knows but soon it will be time to tell. I love working but am becoming increasingly tired and hate to let the rest of my team down. I am also worrried about handling and tasteing certain foods that my doctor has recomended i don't. I don't lack common sense, but in this day and age when we are programmed to be afraid of everything i wonder if i should just shift my station to salad prep!! (BOO!)
Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Lateley we've been getting more ROLL than ROCK......
Bernie Taupin
Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Lateley we've been getting more ROLL than ROCK......
Bernie Taupin
post #2 of 13
everyone is different, but i found that at about 4-5 months into my pregnancies i had to quit as the kitchen was just too hot for me. it was july- august in new england, very hot and steamy and i was running my butt off on the line....
here's what i learned to give up - using harsh chemicals such as oven cleaners and the like, the fumes can be harmful. and i had to stop being so macho, you just can't lift everything with the bump in the front.
post #3 of 13

I suppose I could make a joke about wanting to serve pickles with ice cream

and chocolate sauce as a dessert...

On a physical standpoint, yes you are going through some pretty strenuous stuff just by being pregnant. I've had 3 kids) I suppose there are practical aspects in what you just prep or fry or line. Your stomach will hang over whatever the table area is and ... well, you can kind of figure out all of the scenarios.

Leg circulation problems are a very real concern. I have serious varicose veins from my pregnancies (last one 15 years ago) so DO invest in some support hose. Even the line cooks I know wear them...yeah...GUYS! LOL!

Hormones unfortunately make you kind of nuts. I'm sorry to say, but when I was PG (miscarried) I only wanted pizza with anchovies. I HATE anchovies! So from that standpoint it might interfere with your normal judgement.

What you have to do is determine exactly what your limitations are.

I'm not sure what your doctor is concerned about by your tasting certain foods. What, is he knee jerk about a flambe or alcohol based sauce? How dumb is that?

I'm certain that a 1/2 tsp of a wine sauce that has been simmering for ... how long? Duh...

Anyway. What you have to judge all of this is by how YOU feel. What do you want to do, are you capable of doing it and most important, are you COMFORTABLE doing it. Do NOT push yourself and learn to read your signs of "gee, I can't do this it" ...(I'm prone to pushing myself to complete fatigue)

It's not failure on your part, you're REALLY BUSY constructing a new human being. That in and of itself is draining and exhausting.

Allow yourself to be tired. Allow yourself to sleep.

Unfortunately if it's an either/or your new baby doesn't have a say in the matter.

All I can say is when you see that new little face it will be all worth it. You can cook later.

Salads are good. My daughter just went Vegetarian and dragged me into it. Yum.

PM me if you want to chat.

(not that I won't grill a nice ribeye) ;)
post #4 of 13
Now, I'm a male with no kids, so maybe I'm way off base on this, but how can tasting your product as you cook injure your baby? I mean, ok, if you're whipping up a drain-cleaner reduction maybe you want to hold off on that, but otherwise, what?
post #5 of 13
I have so much respect for women cooks its crazy. Libby my boss was kicking butt on the line up to seven and a half months prego and then had the baby at home with a midwife with no painkillers. I sit in awe of humans that have this ability.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

My doctor tells me to stay away from things like mold ripened cheeses, salami's, not to much shell fish and fish stocks, also no uncooked products such as sashimi, soft boiled eggs(BOO BOO BOO), carparccio etc etc! its all rather depressing really!? all my favourite things! i have a soft spot for smelly moldy and un cooked things!:eek:
Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Lateley we've been getting more ROLL than ROCK......
Bernie Taupin
Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Lateley we've been getting more ROLL than ROCK......
Bernie Taupin
post #7 of 13

Yeah, actually there are a variety of things you can't eat....

The concern with certain cheeses, like brie and jack is listeriosis. The concern is lessened the further along you are.

Then there's the typical salmonella concern with uncooked egg yolks or raw beef...

It's kind of funny but when I had my first 27 years ago I don't recall anything being that critical. Kind of like that country/western song that the guy is singing about all the kinds of stuff we used to do growing up that are totally banned now and we made it here anyway. Like having to wear a helmet riding a bike...

So what would you serve that drain-cleaner reduction with anyway? Can you make a foam out of it?

post #8 of 13

smelly stuff

Congrats on the upcomming event! ....Dont forget that lots of things are changing...... scents.... smell changes too! I could NOT go into the meat box.... the smell of meat really got to me!
You will find what you can and cannot do..... easy does it......
post #9 of 13
I have never had a baby but at one point in time we had an all female line and our saute person sweated it out with the rest of us..that woman kicked butt!
post #10 of 13

So glad I found this forum!  I'm only 6 weeks pregnant, but my morning sickness (huh . . . morning . . . right!) is quite severe.  I have yet to make it through a service this week without having to dash off the line to vomit.  It doesn't help that I run the grill station.  The combination of the smell of the cooking meat and the heat are absolutely turning my stomach into jelly.  It's awful!  I'm wondering how long I can take this.  :(  I guess I could step down to pantry, but . . . that's so boring!  Ugh!

post #11 of 13

Lots of great wisdom, here.

As a baker and a mom and a former high risk OB nurse I have a couple of thing to add.

You are going to have more lower extremity swelling than normal (ted stockings and support hose will help, ask your doc's nurse for an RX, your insurance should pick up the tab ;-)

Normal swelling goes away over nite.

If it doesn't, and esp if your hands and face get puffy, (or accompanied by blurred vision or headache) call your doc.

Most times the extra swelling is nothing to worry about, but let him/her decide, K?

One other thing...women that move around alot (sound familiar, lol) almost always have an easier course of labor and delivery than those with say...a desk job!




post #12 of 13

Happy news for both of you expecting Moms-Kendra and Lisa! May all go swimmingly for you both.

Ditto on the support stockings for your legs. Reducing salt intake will help


Of course, everyone's experience is different, but I found out a few things weathering two pregnancies while working in a pro-kitchen.


#1 early in your pregnancy, you'll get  "the sleepies" during the afternoon. Power naps saved me. I just found a quiet place in the dining room or outside, stuck a timer in my pocket set to 10-15 minutes, and napped as my break. Felt much better afterwards and came back to kick butt the rest of the afternoon.


#2 for ADN (all day nausea-forget just the morning) I always kept a big cup of icy spicy ginger ale by my side and constantly sipped on it throughout the day. That mostly kept the queasies at bay, but accept that sometimes you just get that sudden urge to hurl. Go ahead and do it. You'll feel better afterward. Get the most gingery ginger ale you can find-I like Reed's super premium or Fentinman's Ginger beer. The nausea will go away. For me, it was like someone turned off a switch. I just woke up one day and it was gone. Then it was "the hungries!"


#3 Just as you will find that you crave certain foods (for me, it was Chinese Hot and Sour Soup) you might discover you have sudden aversions to foods you've always liked or even loved. The smell of rice cooking sent me straight to the bathroom to throw up-bland and innocuous right? Go figure. Bananas too. Couldn't even look at them for a year after I delivered and the smell! Eaucchhh!


#4. Keep an icy drink with you all the time and when you start to get hot, put an ice cube under your tongue. Helps a lot.

Also, make up some natural baby wipes-and keep a few with you to clean your face often. It's very refreshing and make your glowing skin even more radiant. Here's my recipe-(it will also save your baby's bum from rash and your purse hundreds of dollars during the diapering years)


Take a roll of Bounty or Viva paper towels and cut it in half to make a short roll.

Place it in a Tupperware style container.

Put 3 tablespoons facial cream or baby lotion in a bowl and add 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil.

Whisk in 2 cups warm water.

Pour mixture over the paper towels and down the center core.

Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, then pull out the cardboard core. 

Pull out the wipes from the center, and keep it covered so it doesn't dry out.

Then use the wipes to clean your face often. It's refreshing and invigorating.


#5 If your feet get tired and achy, take a few wipes to the restroom and rub all over your feet. Then change to another pair of shoes. 


#6 Pregnancy yoga will really help your tired back when your bump starts to shift your center of balance a little more forward.

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!


Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

post #13 of 13
I'm in the same boat. I'm 16 weeks pregnant. I found out my 2nd day in culinary school. Couldn't have picked a better time huh! I still have about 5 months 2 go for school. But I'm wondering when I should take a break from school.. I'm standing during the whole class n I live far from school so the commute is slowly killing me. I dnt want to sound like a princess to any of my instructors but I feel like I do need to take breaks n sit for a while. I dnt knw what to do:-(
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