Have you had to get a non-stress test done while pregnant?

Teresa - posted on 02/16/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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I'm 28 weeks along with my second baby and have been having many health complications along the way. (High blood pressure, anemia, low thyroid) I've had to go to my Ob-Gyn every week or two this whole pregnancy for monitoring, but today he informed me that I'm going to have to start taking a non-stress test every week until the baby's born.



I've looked up some information online, but I was just wanting to hear from some moms out there that have gone through the monitoring. What can I expect? I read it can take anywhere from 20 - 60 minutes. How long did it take in your experiences?

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Sara - posted on 02/17/2010

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I had gestational diabetes and went twice a week the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy for non-stress tests. Basically, they put these two moniters on your belly to track movement and heartrate of the baby. When your baby moves, his/her heartrate should increase. I was normally hooked up for about a half hour. It's really no big deal, and it's kind of cool to sit there and listen to your baby for a while, and it helps you feel better to know that your baby is doing well if you're having complications! I used it as a time to relax. Good Luck!

Rosie - posted on 02/16/2010

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with my second child, his heart rate would skyrocket to 200, so for the last 2 months of my pregnancy every week they had me hooked up to the monitors. i only had to use the clicker once, the rest of the time it was them studying his heartrate to see if it would go back down eventually or not. i was there for a long time eachtime so i suggest bringing a book or something to pass the time. it wasn't a big deal, just time consuming.

Emma - posted on 02/16/2010

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I very rarely took longer than 30 mins when I had mine done. Needed a couple done because of heatlh reasons, but all in all a very interesting experience. You get to hear your baby's heartrate etc. Best thing to do is clear your mind of everything going on in your life when you get these done. Get a sitter to watch any kids you might have at home. I was told to not bring a book or anything just so I could concentrate on my babies' movement but the nurse kept coming in to check on me and so I still had quite a bit of company. It sounds like a long time but once you get there and start the time does fly by.

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i had a non stress test with my son because i was overdue. they just hook you up to a monitor and you let them know when you feel the baby move. it does take a while and it gets super uncomfortable laying on your back all that time, other than that its ok... i think mine took about a half hour.

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Michelle - posted on 02/18/2010

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Yep! I had them from week 34 on. They just check the baby's heart rate and for movement. If you know there is a time of day when your baby is more active, try to schedule your test then. My baby was not ever active during the day, but would boogie in my belly all night long! My tests were at least 45 minutes long! I told my dr. if I could do them at 10 pm we'd be done in no time! They ended up feeding me chocolates, crackers and peanut butter to help wake her up! Everything was totally fine with my baby--even when the dr. was considering sending me to the hospital cuz the tests were always taking so long (never happened). I am sure you will be fine!

Lori - posted on 02/18/2010

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I had them done 2x a week the last trimester of my pregnancy due to high blood pressure. It always took HOURS. Some times as many as 4 hours. My little guy didnt like being reactive for them so I always needed extended monitoring. Make sure you eat right before you go in and drink LOTS of water. It helps the baby stay awake so they can get reactive readings. The quicker they get a nice reactive strip the faster you will be out of there!! I suggest headphone and a Ipod or a good book. The up side to it is getting to listen to your baby's heartbeat and they do ultrasounds to check your fluid levels too, so you get to see your little one growing inside of you!

Teresa - posted on 02/18/2010

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Wow! Thanks for all the info ladies! I'll be sure to throw a magazine or something in my purse just in case... I've been on bedrest for awhile, so I'm pretty used to the "just laying there" thing. :) And I do have a babysitter lined up. I'm excited to see how this little one is doing in there! Thanks for all the encouraging words! ♥

Lise - posted on 02/17/2010

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I had to go twice a week and they usually had me on the monitor for 30-60 minutes each time. I found it relaxing to lay there and listen to the baby's heartbeat. Alot of times I almost fell asleep. It is also reassuring to know the baby is alright.

Cherl - posted on 02/17/2010

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I had non-stress test 25 years ago. I was concerned but everything went well, my 'little girl' is now a special ed teacher. They monitor the baby's movement and heartbeat You push a button when you feel movement. The length of time is determined by how active the baby is. Relax and enjoy listening to the baby and feeling the kicks!

Jill - posted on 02/17/2010

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With my third pregnancy I had gestational diabetes and the last month I had to get 2 non-stress tests a week. It was actually relaxing (since I wasn't home with my two boys). I had to go into the maternity ward and check in. They put me in one of the rooms and attached a monitor to my belly to check for braxton hicks contractions and movement of the baby. I think they said they wanted the baby to move at least 3 times within 15 minutes. So you basically lay there with a monitor on your belly, watching tv, they gave me water and a popsicle, and that's about it. It was like a vacation. I would of stayed longer if they let me ;) I actually looked forward to it.

Tonya - posted on 02/17/2010

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A non-stress test is a good tool to make sure that the baby is tolerating the womb well. If you have had the complications for that long the doctor is being cautious and wants to know how well the baby is doing. Yes it can take as long as 20 minutes to an hour it could be longer just depends on how well the little one cooperates. Its non invasive. just a strap on the stomach to listen to the heart beat and to register movement. Take a book or an mp3 player with music and just relax.

Andrea - posted on 02/16/2010

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I also had to be monitored every 2 weeks with my twins as one of them had a medical condition. I had an NST done at 25 weeks as I was hospitalized for severe abdominal pain. My boys were very active so it took about 20 minutes. Don't bring a book or an IPod or anything like that because you have to focus on the baby's movements and click the buzzer everytime the baby moves. Good luck!

Charissa - posted on 02/16/2010

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I had a non-stress test for my second baby after I told my doctor that I haven't felt her move for an entire day.... It's basically just sitting around as they monitor the baby's movement...I had to drink some cold juice to get her moving during the test but that was about it....it is nothing to be stressed about =D.

Shalom - posted on 02/16/2010

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I had non-stress tests every 2 weeks until i was 30 or 32 weeks, then i had them every week. It was a bit of a pain at first, but then i started to enjoy the process. It made me feel like we were being well looked after.



The length of time it takes depends on how active your baby is- my trick was to have a glass of juice just before my test and my girl got perfectly hyper for the monitors and it would take a lot less time. When she was in there sleeping it took up to an hour, but that only happened once or twice. The nurses want to see that your baby's heartrate speeds up when he/she move and stay lower when he/she doesn't. They will want to see your baby having 5 periods of activity followed by elevated heartrate and then they'll let you go.



The upside is the tests are totally non-invasive and you don't actually have to do anything! It's quite cool to listen to them moving around in there, too. Enjoy it!

Megan - posted on 02/16/2010

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they do them for a bunch of different reason some are minor some are sever with me I had to go so many times cause there was a problem with my placenta they thought it was going to stop working when I was only 26 weeks so I was at the doctors everyday bevcasue if it did stop working me and my daughte would have died but most of the time they do it for comtractions and just to make sure the baby is under an kind of stress. bring something to do !!!!!!!!

Megan - posted on 02/16/2010

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I had to do a non stress test 5 days a week when I was prgenent with my daughter they dont hurt and they arent scary or anything you basically just lay there hooked up to monitors and everytime the baby moves you press this button. its kind of uncomfortable but its really importnant that you do it!!!!!

Billie - posted on 02/16/2010

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I had to many of these tests, up to 2x a week because I was having contractions too soon and it didn't help that I also had gestational diabetes. They are quite simple. Sometimes they'd have me do the clicker thing, to see when I felt my son move. They were just checking his heartbeat and what not. Some took me 30 mins, others I was there for 2 hrs. It's an easy way for them to see how the babe is doing when you're not active and they're able to see how he or she responds to contractions, if you're having them. They don't want that babe under stress! Good Luck and oh yeah, a book or magazine is a plus!

Cassandra - posted on 02/16/2010

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when i was prego wit h my 2nd daughter i had to have non stress tests twice a week from the time i hit 27 wks til i gave birth. i had pre-eclampsia wit my first daughter that was very severe it started out as just swelling and high blood pressure to me having too much protein in my urine and my bp's went up to a dangerous 200/ 122!!!! so when i started showing some of the same symptoms for the 2nd baby my ob right away put me on monitoring. i went 2x a wk and its kinda neat cuz they hook u up to monitors that let you hear the baby's heart beat and they give u a button that u press every time u feel the baby move. its basically just so that they kno that the baby's heart can put up with movements and that the heartrate doesnt fluctuate too high or too low!

Stephanie - posted on 02/16/2010

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Mine didn't take very long but his heart rate didn't do exactly what they wanted so he failed twice. In the end though I had a perfectly healthy little boy. So don't worry too much.

Lenore - posted on 02/16/2010

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it takes as long as it takes to get 10 movements the baby is supposed to move 10 times in a hour usually it happens quite FAST WHEN THE BABYS AWAKE BUT WHEN THERE ASLEEP it can take the whole hour but its not a test you need to get to worried about i had to go every week from 20 weeks on with my daughter and she was 2 weeks overdue so i m prayn for you and good luck

Jessica - posted on 02/16/2010

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I had to do the non stress test when I was pregnant with my son. They just check the baby heart rate and make sure he/she isn't stress and check see if you have regular patterns of contractions. I was always in there for only 30mins. Just a few times I was there for an hour, and it was because my son thought it was fun to tumble around in my tummy. They had to wait for him to calm down a bit or he would be sleeping and his heart rate drop way low. I am sure you will be ok. Just take something with you to entertain yourself while your there.

Dana - posted on 02/16/2010

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im sure youll be fine, mine took almost 90 mins we had issues with the baby and lack of movement during the test. if you already have a child(ren) i would def ask for a sitter, that was another lovely factor in the length of my test, i have two boys and sitting around the drs office all day was not fun not even when dad was there to help.

Amy - posted on 02/16/2010

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I had a non-stress test late in my second pregnancy. They attached a moniter to my belly and gave me a little "clicker" which I was supposed to click each time I felt the baby move. It really wasn't a big deal at all. I don't remember how long it took. I think they told me they only needed about 20 minutes, but I think they must have gotten busy with other things because I think it was a bit longer than that. Don't be nervous--I'm sure everything will be fine. Good luck!

Tanya - posted on 02/16/2010

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take a book or magazine to read some dr's offices have a tv with a vhs usually they trap some fetal monitor to you and you sit there it just monitors the babies heart and activity and it does take a while so they can make sure it steady. That is why I say bring something to read or look at, If you have children I suggest maybe asking someone to watch them so that way you don't have to worry too much becasue you will have to sit down the whole time for the test. But I'm sure everything will be ok. Good Luck

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