Week 39 – NST (Fetal Non Stress Test)

December 27, 2013

Due to my advanced age, we did a Fetal Non-Stress Test today at the Hospital.

NSTs are generally performed after 28 weeks of 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 “buzzer” 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.

In our case, the nurse said the result is very good. Our baby is very happy and active in my belly.

After the NST, we also had a OB appointment – My OB did an pelvic exam again and found out my cervix is still not open yet.  He said if nothing happens this week, we will arrange a induction on my due day, Jan 3 2014.


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