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All You Need To Know About A Contraction Stress Test

All You Need To Know About A Contraction Stress Test

If you are pregnant you may be considering having a contraction stress test. If so, you may be asking yourself questions such as what the procedure is like and how it feels? Well, we have you covered. Continue to read on for the answers.

What Is A Contraction Stress Test?

One of the most important points to remember about the test is that it is conducted to simulate labor and the contractions you have where the oxygen levels will decrease for your baby. This is the only way to test whether or not the unborn baby will be able to deal with the stress of “proper” labor, when contractions will be coming on a regular basis. You’re probably dreading this part the most, but bear in mind the end results – your baby in your arms.

If you are 34 or more weeks pregnant, it may have been suggested that you have a contraction stress test. The test monitors the heartbeat of your unborn baby externally.

fetal heart monitor
    image source: Healthwise, Incorporated

    During contractions, the oxygen and blood supply that is going to your unborn baby drops. However, in most circumstances there is generally no cause to be alarmed. For the majority of babies, this isn’t going to be an issue. On the other hand in, a small portion of babies, the rate of the heartbeat can slow down. This is where it is picked up by the monitor as it can become an issue in labor.

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    The test may last for as little as 10 minutes, but this may depend on your doctor and individual circumstances.

    How to Prepare

    Before you are due to take the contraction stress test you will be asked to prepare for it.

    Here is what you should do:

    • Avoid eating and drinking for between 4 to 8 hours.
    • If you are a smoker, you will be asked not to have a cigarette at least 2 hours before you are due to have the test.
    • You will have to sign a consent form stating that you know the risks of having the test done and you agree to those risks.

    What Is the Procedure Like?

    The procedure can be a bit of a worry to most women. However, it really shouldn’t be since the test is pain free and it is for the benefit of your baby.

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    Throughout the test you will be asked to lie down with your back raised up and tilted slightly to the left. This may be a bit uncomfortable, but you will just have to try and grin and bear it. Plus, it won’t last long.

    An injection of the hormone Oxytocin will be given and you will have contractions. Strange, as it seems you may also be asked to massage one of your nipples since this will also start off the contractions.

    Two belts will then be placed around your belly, with one of them holding down the sensor to record the heartbeat of your unborn baby, while the second measures contractions. The sensors are plugged into the recording unit, monitoring the heartbeat of the baby for about 10 minutes.

    heart monitoring
      image source: medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary

      Why You May Need a Contraction Stress Test

      Not everyone may be offered a contraction stress test. It is only conducted after 34 weeks of pregnancy. You may be offered the test if any of the following applies:

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      • If you have had a non-stress test that appears abnormal.
      • You have had a biophysical profile that was abnormal.
      • You may also be advised to have more than one test throughout the duration of your pregnancy, depending on your circumstances.

      What Do The Results Mean?

      Once you have gone through the discomfort of the test, what do the results of the test mean?

      If the test is normal then it will be classed as being negative. This means that the heart rate of your unborn baby didn’t slow down or remained slowed after the contraction. This is a good thing, of course.

      If the test should be abnormal it is classed as a positive result. This means that the heartbeat of the baby slowed down and generally remained slow after the contraction stopped. Generally, this will occur on over half of the contractions you have when being monitored.

      If the heartbeat remains slow after the contractions it may result in the unborn baby suffering issues in normal labor.

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      What Might Affect The Test Results?

      As with any medical tests you have there are certain factors that might have an effect on the results of the test, or in some cases may mean you cannot have the test, these generally include:

      • Any issues in past pregnancies, including caesarean section where the cut was vertical.
      • Placenta Previa or placenta abruption.
      • If you are having twins or triplets.
      • If you have an incompetent cervix.
      • There is a risk of premature rupture of your membranes.
      • You have undergone uterine surgery.
      • If you are a heavy smoker or have used cocaine.
      • If you are classed as being overweight.

      Are There Any Risks?

      Before undergoing the contraction stress test your physician will explain any risks involved. You should also be aware that monitoring the baby’s heartbeat cannot detect all problems.

      There are some risks in taking Oxytocin. They are:

      • It may bring on early labor and premature birth of the baby.
      • The contractions may become prolonged and may cause problems for your baby.
      • In the extreme event of the contractions not stopping when they stop the Oxytocin, the doctor may recommend that the baby is delivered.

      Featured photo credit: Flikr via flickr.com

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      Published on April 9, 2021

      50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

      50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

      Being a mom is not easy. Being a single mom is even more challenging. Having children means you are on the job 24/7. Even while you are sleeping, you are still ready to wake at the slightest peep because that is what moms do.

      Moms, especially single moms, need more people cheering them on. Your love and care matter to your kids. You are their superhero. I think single moms are superheroes, too.

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      The quotes below are words of encouragement for all of the single moms out there. Keep up the great work! Your hard work will pay off. Someday, they will be grown up and living on their own. Your job will never truly be done as a mom, but you can pat yourself on the back today and every day for doing mom duty day in and day out.

      Here are 50 single mom quotes to encourage all the single moms out there.

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      1. “Being raised by a single mother, I learned to appreciate and value independent women.”—Kenny Conley
      2. “As a single mum you’ll discover inner strengths and capabilities you never knew you had.”—Emma-Louise Smith
      3. “One thing I know for sure – this motherhood thing is not for sissies.”—Jennifer Nettles
      4. “Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”—Gail Tsukiyama
      5. “And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”—Mark Anthony
      6. “She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along.”—Margaret Culkin Banning
      7. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”—Alice Walker
      8. “Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is.”—Anne Frank
      9. “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.”—Jennifer Lopez
      10. “You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are.”—Melissa Etheridge
      11. “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”—Ricki Lake
      12. “You don’t take a class; you’re thrown into motherhood and learn from experience.”—Jennie Finch
      13. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”—Oprah Winfrey
      14. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”—Charlotte Brontë
      15. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”—Nora Ephron
      16. “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”—Diane Von Furstenberg
      17. “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”—Margaret Thatcher
      18. “Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice.”—Helen Keller
      19. “Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”—Sharon Jaynes
      20. “Success, they taught me, is built on the foundation of courage, hard work, and individual responsibility. Despite what some would have us believe, success is not built on resentment and fears.”—Susana Martinez
      21. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”—Maya Angelou
      22. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”—Ayn Rand
      23. “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”—Rudyard Kipling
      24. “The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because stuff worked out. They got that way because stuff went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
      25. “There will be so many times you feel like you failed. But in the eyes, ears, and mind of your child, you are a SUPER MOM.”—Stephanie Precourt
      26. “Motherhood is the ultimate call to sacrifice.”—Wangechi Mutu
      27. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”—Maya Angelou
      28. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
      29. “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”—Jill Churchill
      30. “There’s no doubt that motherhood is the best thing in my life. It’s all that really matters.”—Courtney Cox
      31. “I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”—Mitch Albom
      32. “I have found being a mother has made me emotionally raw in many situations. Your heart is beating outside your body when you have a baby.”—Kate Beckinsale
      33. “Single moms, you are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.”—Mandy Hale
      34. “I’m not really single. I mean, I am, but I have a son. Being a single mother is different from being a single woman.”—Kate Hudson
      35. “Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears but also twice the hugs, twice the love, and twice the pride.”—Unknown
      36. “For me, motherhood is learning about the strengths I didn’t know I had, and dealing with the fears I didn’t know existed.”—Halle Berry
      37. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things… a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Denice Williams
      38. “You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don’t.”—Katie Holmes
      39. “I would say to any single parent currently feeling the weight of stereotype or stigmatization that I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life.”JK Rowling
      40. “Just because I am a single mother doesn’t mean I cannot be a success.”—Yvonne Kaloki
      41. “I didn’t plan on being a single mom, but you have to deal with the cards you are dealt the best way you can.”—Tichina Arnold
      42. “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”—Garrison Keillor
      43. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things, a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Deniece Williams
      44. “Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.”—Meryl Streep
      45. “Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—is the biggest job anyone can embark on.”—Maria Shriver
      46. “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.”—Cheryl Lacey Donovan
      47. “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”—Agatha Christie
      48. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
      49. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”—W.R. Wallace
      50. “Being a mother is the greatest blessing and the hardest challenge in all of life.”—Dr. Magdalena Battles

      Final Thoughts

      Single moms are remarkable women. They are to be respected and honored for all that they do. If you know a single mom, then share this article with them. Tell them “you are doing a great job as a single mom.” They need our encouragement and support.

      They may be parenting alone, but it is good to let them know that there are people in their life who care for them. We can all be there for the single moms out there. Even if it is just to say, “keep up the great work, you are an amazing woman!”

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      If you are a single mom, keep up the good work! You are amazing, and your kids are lucky to have you!

      More Tips for Single Moms

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Dummer via unsplash.com

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