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Women's Health Services | Fetal Biophysical Profile (BPP)

A biophysical profile (BPP) is a prenatal ultrasound evaluation of fetal wellbeing, involving a scoring system. It is often done when a non-stress test (NST) is non reactive, or for other obstetrical indications.

A BPP normally is not performed before the second half of a pregnancy, since fetal breathing movements do not occur in the first half.

This is a non-invasive procedure that involves an ultrasound that looks at four aspects of fetal activity and environment: fetal "breathing", muscle tone, body movements, and amniotic fluid.

Each ultrasound assessment is graded either 0 or 2 points, and then added up to yield a number between 0 and 8. Each variable receives 2 points for a normal response or 0 points for an abnormal or absent response. A BPP of 6 to 8 is generally considered reassuring.

This is then interpreted along with the non-stress test (NST) to determine if the baby is in any danger.


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These tests are ordered to offer reassurance that your baby is doing well during your pregnancy:

First Trimester Screening
Most babies are born normal. All women, however, have a very small chance of having a baby with a chromosome problem such as Down Syndrome.

Fetal Movement Counting
Along with the tests that are performed on our unit, we commonly request that you also conduct a daily test of fetal health in your home.

Level II (Targeted) Ultrasounds
You may be referred by your obstetrician’s office to the Prenatal Testing Center for a "Level-II" or "Targeted" ultrasound exam.

Prenatal Screening for Down Syndrome
Women over age 35 have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with Down syndrome and other chromosomal conditions.

If a risk factor is discovered during your pregnancy, a specific individualized program of testing will be ordered by your obstetrician and/or the Prenatal Testing Center. Some of these tests may include:

Non-Stress Test (NST)
The NST has become the most common method of antepartum screening for fetal well-being.

Amniotic Fluid Index (AFI)
An ultrasound examination can diagnose either too little or too much amniotic fluid.

Fetal Biophysical Profile (BPP)
A biophysical profile (BPP) is a prenatal ultrasound evaluation of fetal wellbeing, involving a scoring system.

After your baby is born there are several procedures, screening and tests performed to ensure your baby’s health and safety:

Newborn Screening
The following procedures and tests are routinely done on all newborns. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your pediatrician before you deliver.

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