Sometimes, we need to test the health of your unborn baby. The Prenatal Diagnosis Center offers the following tests:
We use a machine known as a fetal monitor to do a non-stress test. A non-stress test (NST) looks at your baby's heart rate over time (usually 20 to 30 minutes, but sometimes up to an hour). The monitor has two sensors that are placed on your belly with two belts that go around your waist. One sensor detects any contractions you may be having, even those you might not feel. The other sensor tracks your baby's heart rate, which you can hear. The information is displayed on graph on paper or on a computer screen. During the test, you'll be comfortable in a reclining chair.
One of our nurses will watch the heart rate during the test to see how your baby is doing and make sure the heart rate increases when your baby moves.
A biophysical profile (BPP) is an ultrasound exam that monitors the movement, body tone and breathing efforts of your baby. Each of these four measurements is given a score of zero or two points, and the scores are added up. If the BPP is used with a NST and the NST was "reactive," another two points is added.
The amniotic fluid index (AFI) is an ultrasound exam that measures the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby.
We may need to measure the pockets of amniotic fluid for several reasons. Perhaps you are past your due date or you have a history of water breaking too early in a pregnancy.
The BPP and AFI testing takes approximately one hour and is not uncomfortable.
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
2 Dudley Street | 5th Floor
101 Plain Street | 6th Floor
Providence, RI 02905
P: (401) 274-1122, ext. 47452
Please be advised that this location is a provider-based clinic and both a physician and facility fee will be assessed, which may result in a higher out-of-pocket expense.