For most overdue pregnancies, a biophysical profile ultrasound is scheduled to help your midwife or doctor assess and monitor the baby’s development.
Ours was today and not too different from any other ultrasound we’ve had, albeit the sonologist and I had to coax the baby to move a little because he’s fairly idle in the mornings. She offered me a Werther’s candy to help kick start (pun intended) the movements.
I giggled to myself knowing full well that a tiny Werther’s candy would not start his motor given my impressive sweet tooth. I’m sure baby (like his Mum) needs a bit more sugar than that! I politely accepted the candy and also said a cold glass of water might due the trick … and of course it did.
During this ultrasound, the sonologist collects data and imagery that will help a radiologist interpret and assign a score to the four variables: fetal breathing movements, fetal movements, fetal tone, and amniotic fluid volume. A score of 0 (absent) or 2 (present) is given for each of the four variables.* This test is really designed to determine whether the baby is at risk of fetal asphyxia or some other fetal complication, and is often combined with other methods of antenatal testing such as fetal movement counting, the cardiff technique, the sadovsky technique, and the non-stress test.* For more information about the scoring and aforementioned antenatal test methods, click here to read the Antenatal Fetal Assessment from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. You can also click on the chart below to learn about the scoring criteria for the biophysical profile.*
Since a sonologist (or radiologist) is only taking the readings, they are not at liberty to discuss the outcome of the ultrasound with you. However, to see the baby’s heartbeat today thumping away on the screen, see him moving and feel him kicking throughout the biophysical, gave my husband and I a great deal of reassurance that this baby is doing just fine and simply taking his time!
Later today, we received a call from the midwife that said the biophysical results were perfect (8/8) and that everything was normal.
It’s a pretty good feeling when your kid aces his first test
* Antenatal Fetal Assessment. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) Clinical Practice Guidelines (2000). http://www.sogc.org/guidelines/public/90e-cpg-june2000.pdf.