When you are pregnant, you will probably start to worry every time you hear your doctor talk about another test or scan. But don’t worry, when you hear your doctor talking about a non-stress test, because it is nothing to worry about.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Check out our Privacy Statement for more information.
A Little Bit About Me
I have had two pregnancies, and both ended in an induced labor. Both of my pregnancies were high risk, and I had to be monitored throughout the pregnancies very closely. During the third trimester of both pregnancies, I had to do non-stress tests (NST) twice a week.
So needless to say, I have quite a bit of experience with NSTs.
What Is A NST?
A NST is measures your baby’s heart rate and movement. Many times moms with high risk pregnancies will need to do one or more NSTs during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Some pregnancies where the baby is measuring small or have any other symptoms that the doctor is watching, can also have to do one or more NSTs during the third trimester.
You will go in to your appointment, and they will put straps around your belly (just like when you are in labor), so they can monitor your baby.
The nurse will come in and check on you every once in awhile, it will usually take about 30 minutes (sometimes more, sometimes less).
1. You are constantly monitored.
If you are receiving a Non-Stress Test, this just means more eyes on both you and your baby. You will have more time with the nurse to ask any questions you have. Your baby will be monitored very closely, which will definitely give you a piece of mind.
2. You will get to hear your baby’s heartbeat again..and again..and again.
The first time that parents get to hear their baby’s heartbeat, is unforgettable. Moms will usually be able to hear their baby’s heartbeat at their regular prenatal appointments, and at their two ultrasound appointments.
If you are anything like me, you just want to be able to hear it all day, everyday. If you have to schedule multiple NSTs, you will be able to sit and listen to your baby’s heartbeat, the entire time you are there.
1. You will always be at the doctors office.
During the third trimester of your pregnancy, you are probably already having appointments every other week. If your doctor thinks it is necessary for you to multiple NSTs, there is also a chance they will want you to have more regular appointments as well.
If you have Preeclampsia or Gestational Diabetes, your doctor might just want to monitor you as closely as possible, which means more doctor appointments.
You will live at your doctor’s office.
2. They are uncomfortable.
Now obviously, there are many worse things that could happen. However, when you are pregnant being forced to sit in a chair for 30 minutes seems like forever.
But when you are pregnant, every position seems to be uncomfortable! You will need lean back a little bit, so there is room on your belly for the straps. It can be difficult to sit still, in the same position, for that long.
There is a good chance your back might hurt after.
3. NSTs can take a long time.
Although most NSTs only take about 20-40 minutes, if your baby is not moving, you will have to wait until they are moving around and pass the test.
If the nurse comes back, and the baby isn’t moving around causing their heart rate to increase and decrease, you will have to eat, drink, walk around, use the restrooms, push on your belly, and talk to your baby, to get them moving around.
If your baby just doesn’t feel like moving around for you, you could very well be at the Non-Stress Test for a very long time. It all just depends on your little one.
Make sure to get yourself some comfortable maternity clothes. Check these ideas out!
4. If your baby doesn’t pass, it can be scary.
If your little one doesn’t pass the NST, you might need to get an ultrasound or even head to the hospital. This can be a very scary thing to experience as an expecting mother.
Like I said, I had to do NSTs twice a week with both of my pregnancies. My daughter passed with flying colors each and every time, and I was sent on my way pretty quickly.
However, my son decided that during an Non-Stress Test was the perfect time to sleep and be stubborn. I was sent to have an ultrasound after multiple NSTs. I was even sent to the Labor and Delivery unit in the hospital after multiple NSTs.
Each time I was told that my baby was just fine, and he must have just been sleeping(he is a very deep sleeper to this day). This is very terrifying to experience.
If you are having an NST, and the nurse tells you, your baby has not passed, do not worry about your little one, until someone tells you to worry.