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Why is non-stress test required?

Q: I am 30 weeks pregnant. I visited my doctor yesterday who advised me for non-stress test (NST) in my next scheduled visit. There were these entries made by doctor in my visit dairy - BPD: 7.84 (31 week + 3); AC: 24.8 (29 week +); FL: 5.43 (28 + 5); Baby weight: 1374 gm. I am wondering why is NST required? It seems in my case NST is being done because baby is underweight or is it just a normal test for every one?

A:Fetal testing is indicated for a number of maternal, placental or fetal conditions. The common indications are: a) Maternal – diabetes, hypertension, anaemia, seizures and other maternal diseases; b) Placental – placenta previa or abruptio placenta; c) Fetal – intra-uterine growth retardation, multiple pregnancy, Rh isoimuunisation, oligo- or polyhydramnios etc. You should discuss frankly with your obstetrician regarding the test as he/she is best placed to advise you and allay apprehensions.

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