Posted by Nicole on 31st July 2011

Stress Test During Pregnancy: Non-Stress Test For Pregnant Women

When the woman is nearing the end terms of her pregnancy, she might be subjected to certain tests to check for hers and the child’s viability to undergo a normal delivery. There are many possible tests that could be done, including stress tests and non-stress tests.

  • A stress test is done in the late stages of pregnancy. It is done when the woman has not delivered the baby yet and it is already past her due.
  • It is performed to ensure the well being of the child about to be born.
  • It is a test done only when there is a perceived threat to the life of the child because it is past its due or experiencing other problems.
  • It is done to check the baby’s response to the stress of the woman’s contractions as she goes into labor.
  • It is an invasive procedure that involves injection of synthetic oxytocin.
  • There is a risk of fetal distress because of the procedure.
  • The woman may also start labor soon after the drug was injected. This could be a good sign, depending on a number of factors.

What Is A Stress Test For Pregnant Women

  • The stress test is performed anywhere from week 38 to 42 of pregnancy.
  • The stress test is done using the following procedure:
    • The pregnant woman is made to lie down on the examination table, in supine position.
    • Fetal monitoring equipment will be attached to her.
    • A dose of synthetic oxytocin will be administered.
    • Using the fetal monitor, the movements of the baby will be tracked as the contractions occur.
    • At the end of the stress test, the physician will determine if the baby can be delivered normally or if caesarian is the best option.

Non Stress Test During Pregnancy

  • Another option that may be considered when it comes to testing before induction of labor is the non stress test.
  • This test is also done anywhere from week 38 to 42 of pregnancy.
  • In this test, no drugs are injected into the body.
  • Fetal monitoring equipment will be attached to the woman. Any movement that is in response to any uterine contraction or movement will be monitored. Sometimes, the woman will be asked to press a button whenever she feels any kind of movement.
  • Like in the stress test, the movements will be used to consider a C-section or an induced delivery.

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