Nonstress test

Nonstress test Risks & Procedure

A nonstress test is basically the monitoring of the heart rate. This is a common prenatal test that issued in order to check for the baby’s health. This particular test is done to see how the heart of the baby responds to the baby’s movements. The reason for it being called a non-stress test is because there is no stress imposed on the baby.

This form of test is recommended for the baby’s who are at the risk of death.

This particular test is done between the 26th and 28th week of the pregnancy. 

Why choose the Nonstress test?

The reason that the gynecologist is going to recommend the Nonstress test for you is that of the following reasons:

  • There is a case of multiple pregnancies and it is not without complication.

  • If there is an underlying cause of type 1 diabetes, hypertension or heart disease during pregnancy.

  • If the pregnancy has lasted about 2 weeks past the due date of the delivery.

  • If you have had complications in the previous pregnancy.

  • If the baby’s foetal movement is almost absent. 

  • The amount of amniotic fluids in you is low.

  • If your blood is Rh negative and your babies are positive, then this form of blood test becomes a necessity.

Before during and after the procedure

Before the procedure:

  • Your blood pressure will be taken before the procedure starts.

During the procedure

  • You will lie on a reclining chair

  • You will be attached with two belts with one being to check for the baby’s heart rate and the other one to record any uterine contraction.

  • You will be told to notice if your baby moves and the foetal heart record will also be noted down.

  • With movement, the heart recorded is taken into account to see if the heart beat faster when the baby is moving. 

  • the process is going to last about 20 minutes.

  • In case your baby is asleep or inactive, another 20 minutes are going to be taken.

After the procedure

This procedure is done on an outpatient basis. However, the results of this procedure will be discussed with you right away.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

There are no physical repercussions or side effects associated with this form of test. It is a non-invasive procedure with instruments attached to you in a superficial manner. However, there are some emotional risks:

  • If something is noted down during the procedure and that something isn’t desirable as far as your baby’s health is concerned, you will be anxious and more tests will be recommended.

  • This form of test is recommended for women for whom there is an increases case of pregnancy loss. However, there is no complete empirical evidence that shows as to whether this particular test will be successful or not.


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Dr. Madhu Goel

Senior Gynecologist and a Senior Consultant

Dr. Madhu Goel is a well renowned senior gynaecologist and a senior consultant at Fortis La femme, New Delhi. She runs a private consultation in Goel’s surgery and Gynea centre and prior to being associated with Fortis; she was a consultant a Rockland Hospital.