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Donna BaloBiophysical Profile
by Donna Harvel Balo ARNP, CNM, MS

Q. My OB ordered one of these because my blood pressure has been creeping up, and she wants to make sure it's not negatively affecting the baby. The nurse said it would take a bit longer than the other (normal) sonograms. What are they looking for and why is it different than a normal sonogram?

A. A BPP (biophysical profile) is an in depth ultrasound that usually looks at five criteria: fetal breathing, body/limb movements, fetal tone, reactive heart rate, amniotic fluid. Each gets a score of 0-2 points. If all 5 criteria is measured the max score is 10. If four are measured the max score is 8. So your BPP might be 9 out of 10 or 6 out of 8 etc. It gives a more specific look at how the baby is doing.

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