The Nonstress Test: When You Need It, When You Don’t, and How to Prepare Your Body & Mind

As with every test or procedure during pregnancy, I want mamas to know about options, benefits, and risks. This week's podcast episode is about nonstress tests: when you need it, when you don't, and how to prepare! Whether you decline the test, ask for a second opinion, wait a few days, etc. ultimately, the choice is up to you! I want you to be informed and empowered by your knowledge. It's a quick, informative episode that I hope you'll benefit from!  

Show Notes:

[1:12] Apple Podcasts didn’t like me this week and wouldn’t let me see my reviews. It is what it is! 🀷🏻‍♀️

[2:05] This episode is going to be a quickie but a goodie! If you are coming up to your guess date, you’re pregnant with multiples, have low amniotic fluid, feel decreased movements from your baby, or for any other reason your provider has ordered a nonstress test or NST, this episode is for you. πŸŽ§

[2:53] What is a non stress test? A nonstress test is a prenatal test used to assess the health of your baby when it comes to their heart rate and responsiveness to uterine contractions. πŸ“ˆ

[3:43] When is this NST usually done? It can be done after 22-24 weeks or after 32 weeks. I’ll explain the different timelines. πŸ—“

[4:14] Why are nonstress tests done? Some mamas have this done for the reasons I previously mentioned. However, the majority of tests are done simply because you have passed your guess date. πŸ“†

[5:15] Did you know that 41 weeks +1 day is the average gestation period for a first time mom? 🀰🏼

[5:40] Your provider will normally order a NST once you pass your guess date. A midwife may not even order one. πŸ‘©πŸ½‍βš•οΈ

[6:09] The benefit is catching something that would not have been noticed without the test, but it can also go the other way, and something may be picked up that causes a provider to push for an unnecessary induction. πŸ™…πŸ»‍♀️

[7:09] How is the NST done? You will show up at the provider’s office, sit in a reclined seat, a fetal monitor will be placed around your belly. You’ll relax for 20-40 minutes depending on baby’s activity. 😴

[8:33] What do the results mean? Reactive (normal) or Nonreactive (failed or abnormal test.) We’ll discuss what the results mean before 32 weeks and after 32 weeks. 🀨

[10:17] We’ll talk about what it means if your test comes back as nonreactive. As with everything else, you are still in the driver’s seat and have choices. 🧐

[11:28] What happens if baby fails the test? The main concern is that baby is not getting enough oxygen. Depending on results or your provider, a failed test does not always mean an immediate induction. πŸ€”

[12:09] I talk about my own personal experience with a midwife and the checks and tests that were done without the NST. Sometimes it’s just a difference in practice and how you would like to be taken care of. ❀️‍🩹

[13:06] Have these conversations with your provider NOW! Ask questions. πŸ’¬ Ask what their policies are and when they order them.

[14:03] I’ll link the episode about having a successful induction if that becomes your next step. Listen to it BEFORE you get your NST done. πŸŽ™ Do your labor prep techniques starting at 32-34 weeks. You can increase those induction techniques after 34 weeks.

[16:20] It is so important to trust yourself and your body! πŸ’ͺ🏼 If you are a healthy mom that’s low-risk and passing your guess date is the ONLY thing that prompted this . . . chances are pretty good that you can either ask to push out the test, decline it, or be really positive about using it. 

[17:06] You have the power to say YES for all the tests. πŸ‘πŸΌ You have the power to say NO. πŸ‘ŽπŸΌ I always want to put the power and decision-making back in your hands!

[17:16] You can say no. You can say, tomorrow. You get to talk with your birth partner, go over all the information, ask for a second opinion, and trust yourself. Learning to stand up for our baby is where the “Mama Bear” is born. 🐻

[17:26] Pregnancy gives you that first glimpse into standing up for yourself and your child. You get nine months of practice to really get your voice! πŸ—£

[18:12] Know how you want your birth to play out. Set yourself up with a great provider you trust. Take an excellent birth course to get yourself prepped. And feel empowered, excited, and confident! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

[18:57] There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel empowered during your pregnancy and for your birth choices! 🀩

[19:46] I’m cheering you on! πŸŽ‰

To Leave a Review β­οΈ

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ALL the best,


Links Mentioned:

My Essential Birth Course

My Essential Birth Instagram  

Episode 103: Induction - When Is It Necessary and How to Make It Successful 


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