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Tests to monitor your baby's well-being

  • Your health care provider may do the following tests to check your baby's progress and growth.

    Nonstress test

    • You lie down for about 30 minutes.
    • Two small, round parts of a fetal monitor are placed on your abdomen.
      • One records your baby's heart rate.
      • The other detects any uterine activity, such as preterm contractions.
    • If your test results are "reactive," that's good news—your baby is responding in a healthy way.

    Biophysical profile

    • Biophysical profile uses both ultrasound and a fetal monitor to evaluate five areas: your baby's breathing motions, body movements, muscle tone, amniotic fluid amount and heart rate activity. The fetal monitor evaluates the heart rate activity.
    • Two points are given for each measurement.
      • A score of eight to 10 is reassuring.
      • Lower scores may mean that your health care provider will want to further evaluate your baby's health.
    • Because you have gestational diabetes, you may need this test done regularly until your baby's birth.

    Ultrasound

    "Ultrasound uses sound waves to 'see' your baby and placenta. This test works a bit like underwater radar."

    1. Gel is applied to your abdomen as you rest.
    2. A technician moves a transducer (microphone) over your abdomen.
    3. A picture of your baby and placenta appears on a nearby monitor. Sometimes the ultrasound equipment can take a photo for you to take home.

    Ultrasound can:

    • determine the age of your baby
    • detect the presence of twins
    • help determine your due date
    • measure your baby's growth and development
    • sometimes determine your baby's gender

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