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Monday
Nov052012

Going for a Non-Stress Test/Bio-Physical Profile:

How to Level the Playing Field

When going for an NST/BPP, a little preparation can help you make sure you are hydrated and the baby will be as active as possible before being hooked up to the monitors. This is not to fool the doctor, but to set yourself up for success. If, after following this regimen, the baby or amniotic fluid still shows there is something amiss, you will know you did your part to make sure both were as normal as possible. 

  1. Two hours before your appointment, soak in a tub full of water. Soak for 45 minutes to an hour and while you soak, drink as much of a half a gallon of water as you can. You will definitely have to go to the bathroom more afterwards, but hydrating through soaking and drinking water are two great ways to make sure the amniotic fluid index is as normal as possible. Many women are induced because of low fluid levels when they are really dehydrated. We don’t want that to happen to you.
  2. After your bath, eat a full meal with plenty of carbs. Protein is always important, of course, but you are doing your best to put some glucose into your system so the baby will be as reactive as possible. Reactivity is one of the major aspects of the NST/BPP.
  3. Before you walk into the doctor’s office, drink a full-sugar soda, a small bottle of juice or a cup of coffee – whichever you have abstained from during the pregnancy but wished you could drink. This is sure to perk a baby up!
  4. As you’re getting hooked up to the monitors, talk to the baby and let him or her know what will be happening and that you want to see a perky baby. Also tell the baby if there are problems you can’t see or feel, to “tell” you and you’ll listen and honor the message; babies are very receptive to your wishes and thoughts. 

Hopefully, these strategies can help your upcoming NST/BPP be successful. Of course, if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to talk to your care provider.

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Reader Comments (6)

Okay, that is just ridiculous. For those of us who have the fun of doing about two months of bi-weekly non-stress test with older children at home, THIS SHIT DON'T FLY.

This is the easy truth - drink a lot of water every day throughout your pregnancy, avoid process carbs, eat nutritionally, get plenty of exercise = no issues ever with the non-stress test other then a sleeping baby from kicking up a storm on the ride over (hate that seat belt mom, got to kick it!). Really. Had four pregnancies playing this game from obesity, past 40 weeks with #1 and #2, treated and controlled hypertension with #3 & 4 as well as being a "geriatric maternity patient". Never once had a bad stress test or issues with the fluid levels. If you are doing poorly throughout the pregnancy "cramming" for the NST is just asinine, you want an accurate result.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEthel

Can you say more about fetuses being receptive to mothers' thoughts? Do you mean something about a physiological process, like calming vs. stressed-out hormones? Or are you implying something spiritual?

I have had a couple of NSTs and didn't do anything to prepare, though I did prepare similarly to this for a mid-pregnancy ultrasound and got so worked up about preparing and drinking coffee and whatnot that I ended up totally sick and nauseous and had to lie on my side and not get to see the ultrasound. Sometimes the less worry/preparation the better.

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterantropologa

AFI has nothing to do with how hydrated you are. You can't absorb water from a bath into your interstitial spaces that can then be turned into liquor! Who wrote this - not you Barb?!

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterliz

Thanks for the tips. I have heard and advised moms to drink juice before going on for a non-stress test so that the baby is awake, and it's always good to stay hydrated as that affects your fluid levels. It amazes me that they induce for low fluid without doing multiple tests... this fluid level changes! And if it doesn't work, as you said, than it may be a true problem.

I haven't heard of soaking in a bath tub... and actually, if you are in hot water for too long you actually become dehydrated. Drinking water while you're in the tub helps, you you still lose water, mainly from sweat.

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Liz: I *did* write it!

November 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

You don't absorb water through bathing. All it does is remove oils from your skin.

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

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