Pregnancy and Nutrition with Dr. Yaakov Abdelhak

When it comes to something as important as pregnancy, it can be difficult to veer away from mainstream recommendations in regards to nutrition and overall wellness.  In his 20 years as an OB/GYN, Dr. Abdelhak has veered dramatically from conventional thinking, especially when it comes to sugar and carbohydrate consumption during pregnancy. 

Yaakov Abdelhak, MD, FACOG attended SUNY Downstate Medical School and OB/GYN residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. He completed a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at New York University. Dr. Abdelhak started his private practice in 2002 and delivers out of Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ.

He supports vaginal breech, vaginal twins, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), and vaginal birth after two cesareans (VBAC2). His expertise in high-risk obstetrics ranges from the management of diabetes, high blood pressure, severe hyperemesis, amniocentesis, CVS, cerclage placement, external cephalic versions, multiple gestational, pregnancy after 40, previous loss, recurrent miscarriages, and complications in pregnancy. (

What we discussed during this episode:

  • Dr. Abdelhak’s background and why he veered away from conventional thinking and recommendations for nutrition during pregnancy (1:53)
  • The importance of having a hands-on approach in the field of obstetrics (4:11)
  • Why mainstream thoughts on nutrition may not be optimal for the human body, especially during pregnancy (5:55)
  • Big Pharma and its effect on modern medicine (7:43)
  • The C-section “epidemic” and reasons the rate is so high (8:35)
  • Why “eating or two” is such a dangerous phrase (12:30)
  • Reasons why the average newborn size is increasing (13:47)
  • Caloric restriction and its effect on fetal growth (14:50)
  • Gestational diabetes and size of baby (16:01)
  • Risk factors for gestational diabetes (16:44)
  • The complications and risks associated with C-section (17:46) 
  • Blood glucose levels during pregnancy (21:05)
  • Traditional standard of care for pregnant women in a standard OB/GYN setting (23:29)
  • The history of sugar in our diets (25:15) 
  • The shift from locally sourced, whole foods to processed food consumption (26:24)
  • How Dr. Abdelhak advises his clients to lower sugar and carbohydrate consumption in addition to exercise during the second trimester (30:41)
  • Vaginal birth after cesarean (33:27)
  • The process of labor induction (36:16)
  • Avoiding a c-section and how that must begin at the onset of pregnancy, not the end (41:11)
  • Average length of pregnancy (42:48)
  • Placenta health as pregnancy progresses (46:00)
  • Prenatal ultrasounds (47:05)
  • Pitocin and how it’s used during labor (47:48)
  • Common complications during pregnancy and labor in the past and methods to mitigate those complications now (49:47)
  • Home birth and low-risk pregnancies (54:58)
  • How husbands can prepare for labor and birth (56:23)
  • Dr. Abdelhak’s new podcast (57:31)

Where to learn more from Dr. Abdelhak: 

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Written By

Robert Sikes


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