Prenatal Test – Non Stress Test

Prenatal Test – Non Stress Test

The Non Stress Test is typically given during the third trimester within four weeks of your due date.  This test is given if you have a high risk pregnancy, if an ultrasound shows problems, or if you go past your anticipated due date.  The Non Stress Test evaluates how your baby is doing by measuring the heart rate.

You may be asked to eat before your test (this can increase the amount the baby moves around) and empty your bladder so that you won’t be uncomfortable.  While you lie resting, a belt with ultrasound transducers will be strapped around your abdomen.  With some tests you may be asked to push a button when you feel the baby move.  The baby’s heart rate will be measured in response to it’s own movement (the heart rate normally speeds up when the baby moves).  This is a completely non-invasive test that is painless for both you and your baby.

A normal result would mean that the fetal heart rate increases in response to movement.  A “non-reactive” test means that the heart rate is not responding as expected.  If you have a “non-reactive” reading you may be asked to have further testing.  These tests will help your doctor or midwife decide if you deliver early, or have your labor induced.


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