The primary goal of the test is to measure the heart rate of the fetus in response to its own movements. Healthy babies will respond with an increased heart rate during times of movement, and the heart rate will decrease at rest. The concept behind a non-stress test is that adequate oxygen is required for fetal activity and heart rate to be within normal ranges. When oxygen levels are low, the fetus may not respond normally. Low oxygen levels can often be caused by problems with the placenta or umbilical cord.
I'm getting these tests because my pregnancy is considered "high risk." It's not even that the pregnancy itself is high risk, as so far it has been a picture perfect pregnancy and the baby is doing great (thank God!), but it's a high risk pregnancy because of my history. So really all these extra appointments and things to monitor the baby, are to help give me peace of mind. And it does. But I am certainly not naive to the fact that terrible things still can happen. Not that I expect them to, I really don't, but I had a doctor's appointment only four days before Cale was born and everything was perfect. So while these appointments do help give me a little peace of mind, my biggest comfort will come the day I am holding a healthy, breathing baby boy!
In addition to the NSTs, I am having weekly ultrasounds done to check the fluid levels of the baby and ensure there is an adequate amount of fluid. Today I was told that everything looked "beautiful," . . . .words I love to hear!
Big belly hooked up to monitors and Jeopardy style clicker for when baby moves.
This machine tells me what the baby's heartrate is and the strips of paper are reviewed by the Dr. after each NST.
So far this month I have had two appointments and I have seven more this month! I hope that it will help pass the time quickly, but so far I enjoy these NSTs because for at least 30 minutes or so I am just sitting there doing nothing but focusing on my baby, listening to his heartbeat, feeling his movements and taking such great comfort in the fact that he is ok.