Tests of fetal well-being may be indicated for patients who are at increased risk of adverse fetal outcome.

Tests available include fetal kick counts, non-stress tests, oxytocin challenge tests, biophysical profiles, and Doppler studies.

Timing of initiation of testing should be based on:

  • underlying medical issues and their severity,
  • birthing person age,
  • gestational age,
  • obstetrical history, and
  • plurality.

Antenatal testing should only be initiated at a gestational age and fetal weight at which, when necessary, delivery for an abnormal test result would be reasonable. The frequency and duration of testing should be determined by the obstetrical provider; testing should usually be continued until the pregnancy is delivered, unless the clinical scenario improves.

When regular antenatal testing is considered at very early gestational ages (≤28 weeks), an MFM and NICU consultation may be considered.

If regular antenatal fetal surveillance is indicated, then non-stress tests and/or biophysical profiles are recommended.

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