Of the many new experiences you might have during a high-risk pregnancy, one of the least fun is a fetal monitoring test called a Non-Stress Test, or NST. It really should be called a High-Stress Test because of the anguish it puts parents through. Apple just made it a little bit better.
An NST is the best way for doctors to examine the health of a fetus in the final trimester. Here’s how it works: You’re essentially chained to a zillion monitors for an hour or so while doctors determine if your baby’s heartbeat and movement are normal. This usually has to be done in the hospital and it sometimes has to be done several times in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Due to my high blood pressure, I was admitted into Labor and Delivery six times to do NSTs before my daughter was actually born. (On the bright side, all the nurses knew me when I finally came back to give birth.)
But one of the biggest problems with this whole process is that even with all those sensors, doctors still have a hard time differentiating the mom’s heartbeat from the baby’s, which means they’re moving the sensors around, listening, moving them around, listening. Again, this is all incredibly scary, when you’re already worried about the health of your baby.