Biophysical profile (BPP)

A Biophysical profile is an ultrasound evaluation to determine if the baby is doing well during the pregnancy.  It looks at 4 parameters (5 if a fetal tracing is added).  The test is scored out of 8 for the ultrasound portion only and 10 if the fetal tracing is added.  The 4 ultrasound parameters observed include fetal breathing, movement, and muscle tone as well as the adequacy of the amniotic fluid.  The ultrasound is usually completed within 30 minutes and a score of 8 or 10 is reassuring.  A score of 6 or less will need more evaluation.  There are some maternal and fetal conditions that will require a BPP to be performed either once or twice a week and usually starting in the third trimester.

Some (not all) conditions that would need a BPP for management:

  1. Going past your due date
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Preeclampsia
  4. Diabetes or gestational diabetes
  5. Some autoimmune problems such as lupus
  6. A small baby
  7. Low amniotic fluid or high amniotic fluid