A biophysical profile is an ultrasound which measures the function of the placenta, the level of amniotic fluid, fetal movement/ muscle tone, and "breathing movements". I guess fetuses are supposed to "practice" breathing in the womb.
Cut and pasted from BabyCenter:
Each of the five components – body movements, muscle tone, breathing movements, amniotic fluid, and heartbeat – is assigned a score of either 0 (abnormal) or 2 (normal). These are added up for a total score ranging from 0 to 10. In general, a total score of 8 or 10 is normal, 6 is considered borderline, and below 6 is worrisome
If all the ultrasound scores are normal, your practitioner may decide not to do the nonstress test. But if the amount of amniotic fluid scores a 0, your baby will need more testing and you may need to deliver right away (particularly if you're near 37 weeks) – even if the other things they looked at seemed fine.
If your practitioner is concerned about your baby's well-being, you may be sent to the hospital for closer observation and further testing. If she thinks your baby isn't doing well and needs to be delivered, you'll be induced.
Edited by colomomma - 5/12/13 at 6:11am