The dilemma of when to deliver preterm or growth-restricted fetuses with abnormal monitoring is faced by all those treating such patients. Current noninvasive tests for fetal well-being have relatively high false-positive rates. Cordocentesis allows the clinician to directly analyze fetal blood and determine whether the fetus is truly in distress, is suffering from aneuploidy, or is plagued by infection. However, with improved neonatal care, otherwise normal infants of birth weight greater than 1500 gm have very low morbidity and mortality rates and any delay in delivery offered by cordocentesis is probably not justified. It is in the fetus whose estimated weight is below 1500 gm that cordocentesis should be used. If the results are normal, expectant management and the administration of corticosteroids will allow for pulmonary maturation and a more favorable outcome.