The effect of maternal fasting on the fetal biophysical profile

H. M. Mirghani, D. S.L. Weerasinghe, M. Ezimokhai, J. R. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine fetal biophysical profile changes in women observing Ramadan with uncomplicated singleton pregnancy. Methods: In this cross-sectional observational study healthy women who were observing Ramadan at 30 weeks or more of gestation were recruited as well as a non-fasting control group matched for age, parity, and gestational age. Ultrasound examination included assessment of amniotic fluid volume, fetal bladder volume, fetal biophysical profile, and umbilical artery Doppler flow. Results: A total of 162 pregnant women were observed. Mean umbilical artery pulsatility index, vertical amniotic pool depth, and fetal bladder volume were similar in the study and control groups. However, there was a significant difference in biophysical scores between the two groups. In the fasting group, 30 of 81 fetuses (37%) had a score of 6/8 compared with 11 of 81 fetuses (13.6%) in the control group (P=0.001). All fetuses in both groups with a biophysical score of 6/8 showed no breathing movements. Conclusions: Fetal breathing movements are reduced during maternal fasting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Biophysical profile
  • Fetus
  • Maternal fasting
  • Ramadan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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