What Is the Nonstress Test?

In case you are interested in the fetal nonstress test you should know that this is a simple and non-invasive test that is performed after the 28th week of pregnancy.

The test got its name because there is no stress placed on the baby during the test.

Nonstress Test

How is the NST procedure performed?

During the test there is a belt attached to the belly of the mother that is meant to monitor the heart rate of the little one and another belt is attached as well that is supposed to measure the contractions. The heart rate, reactivity of the heart rate and movement are measured for about 20-30 minutes.

In case the baby doesn’t move during the procedure of NST that doesn’t necessarily suggest a problem. It is possible that the little one is simply asleep. It is possible that the nurse will use a buzzer to wake the baby up for the test.

Why should you have a nonstress test?

This test could be performed if you feel like the baby doesn’t move as often as he or she used to. Women who are overdue usually also go through the test. If the doctors believe that the placenta doesn’t function as it should, you will have this test. Women also have the test if they have a high risk pregnancy.

The advantage of the NST process is that the doctors can see if the baby doesn’t get enough oxygen. This could be because of problems with the umbilical cord or with the placenta. Naturally the results of the test can also indicate other kinds of fetal distress.

Risks and side effects of the nonstress test

The good news about the test is that, as it has been mentioned before, it is considered a noninvasive test. At the moment there are no side effects or risks that the doctors know about. This means that both the mother and the baby are in perfect safety during and after the procedure.

When is the process of NST performed?

You might already know that the test usually takes place around the 28th week of gestation. The test can’t be performed sooner because before the 28th week of pregnancy the baby isn’t developed enough to respond to the stimulus.

What does the nonstress test look for?

The main point of the test is to measure the heart rate of the little one in comparison with the movements. In case of healthy babies the heart rate increases during movement. When the baby is resting the heart rate should decrease. The concept behind the test is that there is need for a certain amount of oxygen for the heart rate and the movement of the baby to be normal.

In case the baby doesn’t have enough oxygen during the NST testing, he or she will not have a normal response. Low oxygen levels are usually caused by the placenta or the umbilical cord.

It is a must for women to know all about the nonstress test.

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