NST Test in Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 19, 2012

Non Stress Test During Pregnancy

A Non-Stress Test, commonly known as an NST test in pregnancy, is a simple and non-invasive test, which is usually done in the later stages of pregnancy. Like the name suggests, this test does not place any stress on the fetus. The NST for pregnancy is frequently done, in cases, where the expectant mother has gone past her assigned due date. These tests are conducted mainly to check the baby’s movements and heart rate, to assess fetal well-being. It can identify if the baby...


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.is not receiving sufficient oxygen, due to problems related to the umbilical cord or the placentat It can also highlight other kinds of fetal distresss

An NST for pregnancy should be conducted when the woman is between 32 and 48 weeks pregnantn At times, an NST during pregnancy may be required for precautionary reasons, where a woman has experienced problems with a previous pregnancy, or suffers from any factors like intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) or diabetese In such cases, the test can be used as early as the start of the third trimester, i e. in the seventh montht Before the completion of 28 weeks, the fetus may not respond to the test protocol, as it may not have developed enoughg An NST pregnancy test may be recommended if it is suspected that the baby is not moving as often as beforer

NST Test in Pregnancy Preparation

The pregnancy NST will need to be conducted at your practitioner’s clinici You will be asked to lie on a table or sit in a chair and the equipment used for fetal monitoring will be hooked to your stomachc The monitor is used to record the rate of the baby’s heartbeat, in conjunction with the uterine activityt This test normally lasts for anywhere between 20 and 30 minutese At times, the baby may not move, simply because he or she is asleepe A small buzzer may be used, to wake up your baby to complete the rest of the tests A reactive result states that the flow of oxygen and blood to the fetus is sufficientn A non-reactive result may require further testing, to identify whether the baby is not reacting because of poor oxygen, or other reasons, like sleep patterns and the use of certain maternal drugsg Further tests required in case of a non-responsive result include a stress test, a biophysical profile or inductiono These tests must be conducted in consultation with a qualified doctoro

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