Non-stress Test in Pregnancy

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A non-stress test checks your baby’s heartbeat and movement during pregnancy.

It is also used during labor to make sure the baby is not under stress and that all is normal.

The test is painless and takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

It is especially useful when there are complications such as premature birth.

To Prepare


  • Try to eat before the test. This may increase your baby’s movement and give better results
  • Arrive on time for the test and don’t worry.

What happens during the non-stress test


The test is non-invasive and just involves little electronic pads that attach to your skin and give readings to a computer. These readings are about your baby and its’ heart.


During the Test


  • The pads are put on the skin of your stomach. They are held in place with elastic belts.
  • Your baby’s heart rate is recorded by one pad. The other pad records your contractions.
  • If the baby is not active during the test, you may be asked to move or the staff will try to make your baby move using noise or touch.

Test results are sent to your doctor. Your doctor will share the results with you.

Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions or concerns.

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