Monday, March 14, 2011


Tomorrow, I head to the doctor for an NST. Having a baby-addled brain, it didn't occur to me to ask exactly what an NST is. When the doctor told me to schedule it, I just kind of assumed it had to do with growth and was just something I needed to have. I have since looked up what an NST is.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, an NST is a Fetal Non-Stress Test. It's "a simple, non-invasive test performed in pregnancies over 28 weeks gestation. The test is named 'non-stress' because no stress is placed on the fetus during the test."
The test involves attaching one belt to the mother’s abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to measure contractions. Movement, heart rate and “reactivity” of heart rate to movement is measured for 20-30 minutes. If the baby does not move, it does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem; the baby could just be asleep. A nurse may use a small “buzzer” to wake the baby for the remainder of the test.
The test is performed if
  • You sense that the baby is not moving as frequently as usual
  • You are overdue
  • There is any reason to suspect that the placenta is not functioning adequately
  • You are high risk for any other reason
I fall into that last category because of my advanced maternal age. Baby has been moving plenty. Sometimes my belly looks like waves of the ocean rolling along. And he's given me some really strong kicks to the ribs on several occasions. But nothing's quite compares to how weird it feels when he gets the hiccups. It's a bit like a muscle spasm but not exactly. Although hiccups are a little more steady as opposed to the karate kick to the ribs that can take my breath away and make me sit up straight. Maybe that's his strategy -- trying to improve Mommy's posture.

*OK, technically, this is an acronym rather than a word, but whatever.

1 comment:

  1. They put the same things on you when you are in the hospital ready to have the baby or in my case to stop the baby from coming. Its actually kind of cool to watch the heartbeat