Fetal Surveillance Services

Fetal surveillance, non-stress (NST), biophysical profile tests (BPP), modified BPP and fetal Doppler ultrasound testing, are available at all Garden OB/GYN Centers to ensure the well-being of your unborn baby and to determine that enough oxygen is being delivered through the placenta.

The testing is often started after 36 weeks of gestation, but may be started as early as 28 weeks of gestation for pregnancies affected by medical or obstetric complications.

Your Garden OB GYN clinician will describe the fetal testing procedure and discuss why you are advised to begin fetal surveillance testing.

Non-Stress Test (NST) is a simple, non-invasive assessment that measures the response of the fetal heart rate to each movement the fetus makes. The test is named "non-stress" because no stress is placed on the fetus during the test. The test involves sensors on belts that are placed around the mother's abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to detect uterine contractions. This test to monitor the heart rate and "reactivity" of heart rate to movement is usually performed for 20-30 minutes.

The Biophysical Profile (BPP) is a test to monitor the health of the your baby during pregnancy. A BPP test includes a non-stress test with electronic fetal heart monitoring and a fetal ultrasound. The ultrasound technician evaluates the fetus’ heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing movement and amount of amniotic fluid, during the ultrasound component of the BPP.

A modified BPP does not include the NST, but rather consists only of the ultrasound component to measure the fetus' heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing and the amount of amniotic fluid.

Doppler Ultrasound is a noninvasive method to assess and measure the fetus' blood flow using ultrasound technology.

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