Non Fetal Stress Test

NST’s are generally performed after 28 weeks of gestation. Before The Fetal Non-Stress test is a simple, non-invasive test performed in pregnancies over 28 weeks gestation. The test is named “non-stress” because no stress is placed on the fetus during the test.

How is a NST Performed?

The test involves attaching one belt to the mother’s abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to measure contractions. Movement, heart rate and “reactivity” of heart rate to movement is measured for 20-30 minutes. If the baby does not move, it does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem; the baby could just be asleep. A nurse may use a small amount of juice to drink, to wake the baby for the remainder of the test.

Why would a NST be performed?

A NST may be performed if:

  • You sense that the baby is not moving as frequently as usual
  • You are overdue
  • There is any reason to suspect that the placenta is not functioning adequately
  • You are high risk for any other reason

The test can indicate if the baby is not receiving enough oxygen because of placental or umbilical cord problems; it can also indicate other types of fetal distress.

What are the risks and side effects to the mother or baby?

A NST is a noninvasive test that poses no known risks or side effects to mother or baby.

When is a NST performed?

28 weeks, the fetus is not developed enough to respond to the test protocol.

What does the NST look for?

The primary goal of the test is to measure the heart rate of the fetus in response to its own movements. Healthy babies will respond with an increased heart rate during times of movement, and the heart rate will decrease at rest. The concept behind a non-stress test is that adequate oxygen is required for fetal activity and heart rate to be within normal ranges. When oxygen levels are low, the fetus may not respond normally. Low oxygen levels can often be caused by problems with the placenta or umbilical cord.

What do the NST results mean and what are the reasons for further testing?

A reactive non-stress result indicates that blood flow (and oxygen) to the fetus is adequate. A nonreactive non-stress result requires additional testing to determine whether the result is truly due to poor oxygenation, or whether there are other reasons for fetal non-reactivity (i.e. sleep patterns, certain maternal prescription or nonprescription drugs).

Read More

  • What is a 3D Ultrasound?

    What is a 3D Ultrasound?

    By now, you’ve probably heard someone mention having a 3D ultrasound at somepoint. Whether it’s yourself, a coworker, family member, or just someone in passing – everyone seems to be talking about it. But what exactly is a 3D ultrasound? A 3D ultrasound show still pictures of your baby in three dimensions. 4D scans show moving 3DRead more →

  • What is 3D ultrasound?

    What is 3D ultrasound?

    3D ultrasounds provide surface depth to images using the latest technology. Taking three-dimensional ultrasound images, allows you to see your unborn baby in real time detail. Your baby’s movement can be captured in life-like 3D images. Is there any risk to me or my baby? Ultrasound studies have been conducted over the last 30 yearsRead more →

  • Urinary Incontinence in Women

    Urinary Incontinence in Women

    Urinary incontinence in an involuntary loss of urine. Millions of women experience Urinary incontinence, it can happen twice as in women then in men. Many women will loss a few drops during activity such as running or laughing while others will have a  sudden urge to urinate before losing a large amount of urine. Incontinence occursRead more →

The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.