Nonstress Test

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Nonstress Test (NST)

Nonstress Test (NST) is a monitoring method used to check the health of a fetus in pregnant women. It helps to check if the baby’s heart rate is responding to its movements. The test is done by attaching special fetal monitors to the mother’s stomach. NST is used to assess if the baby’s heart rate is normal and that the baby is not in any distress. It is usually done between the 32nd and 40th weeks of gestation.

Preparation for Nonstress Test

There is no special preparation required for the Nonstress Test. Generally, you should wear loose-fitting clothes and avoid eating or drinking anything for about two hours prior to the procedure.

Procedure for Nonstress Test

The Nonstress Test is typically conducted in your doctor's office or a hospital. The process takes about 30 minutes. During the Nonstress Test, sensors are placed on your stomach that record your baby's heart rate. The sensors measure the movements and breathing of the baby. Your doctor may also manually increase the baby's heart rate by gently pushing on your belly to see if your baby responds.

Types of Nonstress Tests

  • Modified Nonstress Test (mNST) - This type of NST is typically recommended for women who have a high-risk pregnancy. It has an increased sensitivity to detect any potential problems, including low oxygen or irregular heartbeat.
  • Biophysical Profile (BPP) - This type of NST combines ultrasound tests with NSTs to assess the wellbeing of the baby.
  • Contraction Stress Test (CST) - This type of NST is used to measure how well your baby is responding to contractions in the womb, and it is typically done in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Risks Associated with Nonstress Test

Nonstress Tests are usually very safe for both you and your baby. However, as with any medical procedure, there is some risk of complications, such as false positives, false negatives, premature labor, or infection. Additionally, some people may experience discomfort or pain when the sensors are placed on their stomach.

Why do we use Nonstress Test?

Nonstress Tests are used to assess the health of the baby by measuring its heart rate and movement in the womb. It is used to ensure that the baby is not in any distress and to detect any potential problems, such as decreased oxygen levels or a heart rate that is too fast or too slow. This helps doctors to identify any medical conditions that may be affecting the baby.

When to have a Nonstress Test?

Nonstress Tests are usually recommended between the 32nd and 40th week of pregnancy. It may also be recommended earlier if you are at high risk for preterm labor or if your baby’s growth has slowed down.