Non-stress tests for fetal health

This is a non-ultrasound test for fetal health. The fetal heart rate is detected by a Doppler placed on the maternal abdomen with an elastic belt and the fetal heart rate is “traced” on a grid paper over time. The fetus is usually given 20 minutes on the monitor and the goal (after 32 weeks) is to find heart rate accelerations (15 bpm over baseline) that last over 15 seconds. This is generally a sign of good fetal health and the absence of fetal distress or poor oxygenation.