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Will I need a nonstress test during pregnancy?

A nonstress test is just another method of monitoring your baby later in pregnancy. If, for some reason, there is concern over an inactive baby then a stress may be conducted to ensure the baby is okay and still moving around inside mum. More often than not, a mum in her third trimester will feel her baby move around and kick so often that this test is completely unnecessary. However, some babies are more active than others and concern can arise if your baby is not being felt regularly or has had a decrease in movement.

A nonstress test is not invasive and causes no stress for either you or your baby. It can be a bit dull though. The test measures your baby’s heart rate for a certain length of time, up to 40 minutes. It is conducted after the 28 week mark and will be searching for a heart rate that quickens when your baby moves. If your baby is not making an appearance for the test, your doctor will either give you something to eat or drink – sugar may wake your baby up from resting - or they make use a combination of sound and vibration to wake up the little one.

You will be lying down with a Doppler device strapped across your belly. This will be connected to an ultrasound machine that will measure the heart rate. You will be given a button to press when you feel your baby move.

Do not jump to conclusions if your baby does not cooperate, it does not always mean something is wrong, just that your baby does not feel like moving right then. If that is the case, you may be asked to repeat the test or agree to undergo other testing methods.
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