In about 4 percent of all pregnancies, women who have never before had diabetes will develop high blood sugar (glucose) levels. This is known as gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, hormones created in the placenta to help the baby develop also can affect the way the mother’s body uses insulin. In a normal pregnancy, a woman’s pancreas may produce as much as three times the normal amount of insulin in order to regulate glucose levels. If the pancreas does not make enough insulin, glucose can build up to high levels in the blood. Glucose testing in the first or second trimester of pregnancy can detect gestational diabetes. It typically can be treated with diet, exercise, or medication.
The Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialists at the University of Alabama Birmingham Women & Infants Center are available on-site 24 hours a day to manage problems associated with high-risk pregnancies. Our physicians are experts at managing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, Rh sensitization, multiple births, premature delivery risk, and other potential complications.
MFM specialists at UAB have access to treatments that often are not yet available elsewhere, which can reduce the chance of a recurrent preterm birth by one-third to one-half. We are one of the nation’s most advanced MFM programs, as evidenced by being one of only 14 centers participating in the national Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network for high-risk pregnancy research. To support our research we developed Alabama’s first OB/GYN Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, which implemented the first comprehensive first-trimester screening program and the first integrated first- and second-trimester screening program for fetal abnormalities.
Patients at UAB have access to the most up-to-date care, including first-trimester diagnosis, genetic testing and counseling, and 4D-ultrasound and fetal imaging. UAB’s team includes only board-certified MFM specialists as well as specialists with genetics certification. Our program also includes a personal labor nurse and three anesthesia specialists.
- Labor & Delivery TourView this video that walks you through what to expect when you come in for labor.WatchClose
- Meet the Team: Kim HooverWatchClose
- Meet the Team: Brian Brocato, DODr. Brocato is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist with an interest in preterm delivery, diabetes, and using ultrasound technology to diagnose conditions and evaluate patients for various procedures.WatchClose
- Meet the Team: Janeen Arbuckle, MD, PHDWatchClose
- Meet the Team: Fran Burgan, MDWatchClose
- Meet the Team: Margaret Boozer, MDWatchClose
- Meet the Team: Todd JenkinsWatchClose
- Obstetrics and Gynecology at UAB MedicineWatchClose
- Meet the Team: Audra Williams, MDWatchClose
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