There are potential complications from an amniocentesis, i.e., preterm labor, spontaneous rupture of membranes, fetal or placental injury; and the clinician performing the procedure should explain what these are prior to the procedure.
Research is ongoing in a hope that there will one day be a blood test that will be able to identify fetal cells to determine the presence of genetic abnormality without the need for an invasive procedure that carries undesirable risk.
It assists with dating the pregnancy, determining the number of fetuses, detecting fetal anomalies, following the growth and development of each fetus, and serves to monitor the length of the cervix in anticipation of preterm labor.
A normal NST is reported as being reactive, which means the fetal heart is "reacting" to movement such that the FHR is accelerating 15 beats per minute above the baseline FHR for 15 seconds twice within a 20-minute period of time.
In general, most physicians believe that IUGR is the consequence of a disease process within one or more of the three partitions that maintain and regulate fetal growth, i.e., the maternal compartment, the placenta, or the fetus.