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Q&A: Fetal Tests

Q. My doctor recommended fetal testing because my blood pressure is high. What does that entail?

A. There are several tests that assess the health of a baby; they are used for women whose babies are suspected to be at increased risk for stillbirth. The tests include fetal kick counts, nonstress tests, biophysical profile, contraction stress test or oxytocin-challenge test, and Doppler ultrasound of umbilical artery blood-flow velocity. The tests are sometimes used in combination with each other and may be done once or twice a week depending on the baby's risk factors and condition. Although none of these tests will harm you or your baby, they sometimes can suggest that intervention is needed when in fact your baby is fine.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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