Antenatal Testing Unit
850 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118
The Antenatal Testing Unit (ATU) provides care to women in need of routine weekly and bi-weekly testing as well as specialized care for those experiencing complications during pregnancy.
What kinds of services do we provide?
Tests for fetal well-being
Non-Stress Test (NST)
The NST measures the fetal heart rate during normal activity. This may last 20 to 40 minutes, during which time the mother is monitored with a fetal monitor strap on her abdomen which detects the fetal heart tones. During the test, as the baby moves, the heart rate should increase in response to the movement.
Bio-Physical Profile (BPP)
BPP utilizes ultrasound technology to visualize the baby and to evaluate its movements. The movements of the arms and legs, breathing, and stretching motions are evaluated for 10 to 30 minutes. The amount of activity is a measurement of the health of the baby.
Fetal ultrasound creates an image of the baby in the mother's womb (uterus). It’s a safe way to check the health of an unborn baby. During a fetal ultrasound, the baby’s heart, head, and spine are evaluated, along with other parts of the baby. Fetal ultrasound is a routine part of prenatal care in the U.S. and can check for defects or other problems in the fetus.
Amniotic Fluid Test (AFT)
An AFT or Amniocentesis is a medical test performed when a woman is 20 weeks pregnant. It is used to look for birth defects and genetic abnormalities in the fetus, and can also determine the baby’s gender. For this test, a doctor uses a needle to remove a small amount of amniotic fluid, which contains fetal tissue. The tissue is then examined.
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a prenatal test performed when a woman is 12 weeks pregnant. A doctor places a needle into the placenta and removes a small amount of the placenta. It is then examined for birth defects and genetic abnormalities in the fetus. It can also tell the baby’s gender.