Fetal APGAR/Biophysical Profile

Specialties Ob/Gyn


Hi everyone,

I am a second semester nursing student and just began my Maternity Rotation last Saturday. On my first day I was selected to observe in the L&D unit while my classmates went to Post Partum. (We only get one day each in L&D and rotate each weekend). I was able to observe a C-sect first thing that morning and right after that I was allowed to help a laboring mom (hold her leg and help with contractions) and also got a first row seat for the birth. It was absolutely amazing! I think I am still psyched and in shock about it.

Anyway, sorry to go off on a tangent there but I had such a great time observing and feel so lucky to have been there.

I have a question about Fetal APGAR / Biophysical Profile. I know what it is and how it is scored but I wanted to know;

- at what time it is assessed and how often it is assessed.

Is it assessed when mom 's in triage in the beginning stages of labor and then every couple minutes or hours thereafter? Or do you do it just once? More often for a distressed mom or child?

Thank you for any info. you can provide. I enjoyed my day in the L&D unit but since it was at the very beginning of the semester I know I didn't pick up on a lot of stuff that they were doing because we haven't covered it in class yet.


705 Posts

Specializes in Case Mgmt; Mat/Child, Critical Care.

The Apgar score is assigned after birth, at 1 and 5 minutes. It rates the baby on HR, tone, color, resp effort, and grimace. A score of 7 - 10 is considered normal, 4-7 the baby requires some additional measures (ie:O2, or narcan, etc), 3 or below is indicative of resucitation. For baby w/low scores, another apgar score is usually done at 10 min after birth.

The biophysical profile or BPP is done while pregnant...it consists of an NST (non-stress test), and an ultrasound. The fetus is given points for HR, movement, breathing motions, tone and the amt of amniotic fluid (AFI). BPP's are usually done for post dates, high risk pregnancies or for unexpected problems w/the pregnancy. For ex: moms who are diabetic, or have PIH or htn, decreased fetal mopvement and failed NST, to judge the amt of fluid, etc. A score of 8 - 10 is normal for a BPP, 6 is considered borderline and below 6 usually indicates a problem and the baby is delivered.

Good luck during your rotation!


39 Posts

WOW sounds like an amazing day for you!! Im Jealous..I cant wait to be in your shoes!


1,326 Posts

Thank you for your explanation moon. I appreciate it.

luvbbs, I hope you have a great experience like I did. I think that even if I end up in an area outside of OB/GYN the experience I had that day will stay with me. It really changed me as a person and I think as a future nurse also.

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