Antepartum Fetal Surveillance
Antepartum fetal surveillance is provided at three convenient outpatient locations (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Newport News) which are strategically located in close proximity to Labor and Delivery units. A wide range of services to monitor a baby's well being before it is time to deliver are provided. The antenatal fetal testing units are staffed by experienced Perinatal RNs with extensive fetal testing experience. Services provided include:
Non-stress tests that include monitoring of the baby's heart rate using a harmless device that emits sound waves.
Assessment of the amniotic fluid volume using an ultrasound.
Biophysical profile assessments performed with ultrasound to evaluate the baby's movement, tone and breathing exercises while it is still in utero.
Contraction stress tests that allow the doctor to assess if the placenta is functioning adequately to provide the baby with good oxygen supply.
Doppler flow studies to assess the blood flow in the baby's blood vessels as well as in the maternal uterine arteries when clinically indicated.
Amniocentesis procedure to assess fetal lung maturity prior to elective delivery when indicated.
Several conditions place a pregnancy at higher risk for complications and may benefit from antenatal fetal surveillance prior to delivery. Testing is usually initiated at some time after 28 weeks.
Reasons for testing include but are not limited to:
- Decreased fetal movement
- High blood pressure
- Intrauterine growth restriction ("IUGR") [baby not growing as well as it should]
- Low amniotic fluid volume
- Two or more babies in the same uterus (e.g., twins, triplets, etc.)