Nonstress test

A nonstress test determines the response of the fetal heart rate to fetal movements.

During a nonstress test, an external monitor is placed around the mother's abdomen to record the fetal heart rate. This is called “running a strip.” Each time the fetus moves, the movement is noted on the recording chart. Any changes in heart rate during movements are also noted.

If the fetus is asleep, the mother may be asked to press on her abdomen or make a loud noise to awake the fetus.

Last Updated: June 28, 2008

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