Reasons You Might Need a Biophysical Profile (BPP) During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman getting an ultrasound

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A Biophysical Profile (BPP) is a test that is performed in late pregnancy using ultrasound and fetal monitoring. The Biophysical Profile is done as a way to try to watch how your baby is doing at the end of pregnancy.

Biophysical Profile Scoring

Your baby will be scored on five things during the test. A score of 0 (abnormal) or 2 (normal) will be given in each of these categories:

  • Amniotic fluid levels
  • Body movements
  • Breathing movements
  • Heart rate
  • Muscle tone

Reasons for a BPP

Your doctor or midwife will use the numbers given, along with other factors to decide what to do, if anything with your treatment. This may include doing nothing, waiting and repeating the test, inducing labor, or a cesarean.

Here are some reasons that you may have a Biophysical Profile (BPP) ordered for your baby:

This may be a test that you have done once in your pregnancy, once a month or some other regularly scheduled timing. You can discuss what your practitioner is looking for and what the expected outcomes may be depending on what the numbers say. This explanation will also take into consideration other factors in your prenatal care.

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Special Tests for Monitoring Fetal Well-Being.

Additional Reading
  • Special Tests for Monitoring Fetal Health. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Patient Education Pamphlet.

By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor.