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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

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Gestational Diabetes: When You Have Diabetes During Pregnancy, third edition, ISBN 1-931876-21-6
Reviewed By: Reviewed by Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
First Published: 11/27/2006
Last Reviewed: 01/20/2014