Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
A nonstress test monitors an unborn baby’s heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes to see if it changes as the fetus moves and during contractions. It is called “nonstress” because doing it places no stress on the fetus.
A nonstress test (NST) is usually done when a health care provider wants to check on the health of the fetus, such as in a high-risk pregnancy or when the due date has passed.
The test checks to see if the baby responds normally to stimulation and is getting enough oxygen. A baby that doesn’t respond isn’t necessarily in danger, though more testing might be needed.
Sometimes, a biophysical profile (BPP) is done, which includes an ultrasound and an NST. A BPP examines a baby’s breathing, movement, amount of amniotic fluid, and tone, in addition to the heart rate response.
Your health care provider may recommend this if you have a high-risk pregnancy, if there are concerns during your pregnancy, or if you have a low-risk pregnancy but are past your due date.
You’ll wear two monitors (one tracks the baby’s heartbeat and movement, and the other records contractions) while lying on your left side. A technician monitors the fetal heart rate during each movement on a screen while your contractions are recorded on paper.
If there’s no movement during the test, the baby may be asleep and the technician may use a buzzer to wake the baby. You also may be asked to drink or eat to try to stimulate the baby more.
A nonstress test is done any time after 26 to 28 weeks, depending on why it’s needed. This is the age when a baby’s heart rate can respond to movements by speeding up or slowing down.
Results of a nonstress test are ready immediately.
Find out what tests may be offered to you during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Find out what tests may be offered to you during weeks 13 through 26 of pregnancy.
Find out what tests may be offered to you during weeks 27 through 40 of pregnancy.
Genetic counselors work with people who are either planning to have a baby or are pregnant to determine whether they carry the genes for certain inherited disorders. Find out more.
Every parent-to-be hopes for a healthy baby, but it can be hard not to worry. Find out what tests can keep you informed of your health â and your baby’s â throughout pregnancy.
The sooner in pregnancy good careÂ begins, the better for theÂ health of both moms and their babies. Here’s what to expect.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Our week-by-week illustrated pregnancy calendar is a detailed guide to all the changes taking place in your baby – and in you!
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.