what's hot around the web

you asked...

Q&A: Nonstress test during pregnancy?

I'm scheduled for a nonstress test soon... what should I expect? And what exactly is my doctor looking for?

Re: I'm scheduled for a nonstress test soon... what should I expect? And what exactly is my doctor looking for?

The Bump Expert

Good news: The nonstress test lives up to its name, both for you and baby. It's totally noninvasive, and poses no risk to baby. Be prepared, though -- it can easily take up to 40 minutes (make a bathroom stop first!), and might be a little noninteresting for you.

The nonstress test evaluates baby's wellbeing by measuring how her heart rate responds to movement. It's a fetal monitoring method, meaning the purpose is simply to check on her well-being -- not cure a problem or ensure that baby's born healthy. It's normally performed after 28 weeks, most often in post term and high-risk pregnancies.

For the test, a Doppler device will be strapped around your belly with a belt. The device is attached to ultrasound transducers which measure baby's heart rate. At the same time, baby's movements will be recorded, either with another device placed around your abdomen or a button that you press. If baby isn't doing much moving, she's probably snoozin'. Your doc may use a (completely safe!) buzzer-like device to create sound and vibration to wake her, or ask you to eat or drink something to encourage a stir.

What's your doc looking for? Ideally, baby's heart rate will quicken when she moves. If this isn't the case, there could (meaning no need to freak out!) be a problem with baby's health, and your doc may recommend repeating the test or doing another procedure such as a contraction stress test. If baby doesn't respond after an hour and a half or so, you also may be asked to repeat the test.

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Your pregnancy and birth. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005.

The Bump Editors

Q&A: Nonstress test during pregnancy?

Someone gave me a really great tip which was to make sure your hospital bag was in the car during your appointment just in case the non-stress test indicates you need to be induced. Then you will have everything you need to go.

Lsuben |

Q&A: Nonstress test during pregnancy?

My doctor had me drink something cold and sweet before the test. I had a strawberry/banana smoothie and wow baby was moving!

Babystoufferonthebrain |

Q&A: Nonstress test during pregnancy?

During the last month, in case of a high risk pregnancy, it can be quite inconvenient having checkups daily or even more. I've heard ultrasound with this frequency can be harmful and is not really recommended by FDA. Have you ever heard of this device: www.remotaid.com ? What do you think of it?

FutureDaddy |