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Non Stress Test on Fetus - When To Go For It?

Dr. Shiwani Agarwal 92% (825 ratings)
DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), MBBS
Gynaecologist, Mumbai  •  17 years experience
Non Stress Test on Fetus - When To Go For It?

Pregnancy and childbirth is one of the most important time in the life of a woman. It is a time to celebrate and yet be cautious as well, so that all goes well and the end of the pregnancy is a beginning of life for a baby. There are numerous ways of monitoring the health of the foetus during pregnancy. The non-stress test is one of the ways. Let us find out more about this: 

Heart rate monitoring: The non-stress test is basically concerned with the monitoring of the heart rate of the foetus. This is a prenatal test that is very commonly used in order to check the overall health and vitals of the baby while it is still in the womb. The test is essentially carried out to check how well the heart rate responds to the other movements carried out by the baby inside the womb. It is called a non-stress test because there is no external stimulation that may put pressure on either the heart rate or the movements of the baby.

Why: This test is usually recommended by the doctor when there is an increased risk of losing the foetus due to complications. This test is conducted from 36th week of the pregnancy and onwards till delivery. It is also done even when the patient is in labour.This test will usually show whether or not the baby needs extra test, monitoring or care. This test is essentially conducted to check the oxygen supply and is a non-invasive procedure that does not pose any serious physical risks or harm.
Fetal Hypoxia: This test will also show whether or not the baby is suffering from fetal hypoxia, which is a condition where the heart beat is disrupted, if the passage of oxygen is blocked due to some reason.

Conditions for non-stress test: The non-stress test may be conducted if the lady in question has lost or had complication in previous pregnancy. Also, if the mother has any other medical condition like diabetes or cardiovascular conditions, then this test is imperative. Decreased movement of the foetus may also prompt the doctors to take action and conduct this test as a cautionary measure.

Procedure: During the procedure, you will be asked to lie down on a reclining chair and two belts with monitors will be attached to your abdomen. The heart rate of the baby, as well as the movements, will then be studied once the monitors are switched on. These monitors are in turn attached to a screen, in order to take the reading. This test will take no more than twenty minutes. However, if there is no movement in the baby, then the test may continue for a little longer until the baby becomes more active.

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