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Nonstress test; Contraction stress test; Scalp monitoring
Normal values show a fetal heart rate between 120 and 160 beats per minute and are a sign that the developing baby is not in distress. The heart beat may vary 5 - 25 beats per minute from the baseline (normal) fetal heart rate.
A rise above baseline with fetal movement is a reassuring sign.
The fetal heart rate may drop slightly during a contraction. This is normal as long as the fetal heart rate recovers quickly once the contraction has stopped.
Fetal heart monitoring tests can detect the following abnormal situations or conditions during pregnancy:
Druzin ML, Smith JF Jr, Gabbe SG, Reed KL. Antepartum fetal evaluation. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2007:chap 11.
Garite TJ. Intrapartum fetal evaluation. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2007:chap 15.
Farley D, Dudley DJ. Fetal Assessment During Pregnancy. Pediatric Clinics of North America. June 2009;56(3).
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