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NST's are part of an overall test call a Biophysical Profile (BPP). When I had NSTs, is was just an NST, but sometimes I had the complete test. It will depend on your dr's orders.
An NST is very easy. You go in and lay down w/ a FH monitor on your belly. They will monitor you for at least 20 minutes, up to 2 hours. They will be watching the baby's heartrate and looking for 2 HR increases of at least 15 beats/minute for at least 15 seconds w/in a 20 minute period. Also they will be looking for a normal heart rhythm. If they don't like what they see they (nurses or drs) will have you lay on your side, drink something sugary, or buzz your baby w/ an annoying buzzer (not painful).
I should add that they'll monitor you for contractions as well. All my NSTs were done in L&D.
A BPP will also include an u/s looking at fluid levels, baby's breathing, some large limb movements, and baby rolling or turning. The movements are all w/in 30 minutes, so the u/s lasts no longer than 30 or so minutes but can be done quickly if baby is very active.
For a BPP, the score is out of 10 (2 points for each thing they look for). An 8 or 10 is passing, 6 is borderline, and 2 or 4 is considered failing and results (usually) in a c/s - this is what happened at my last NST. I should mention though that my baby was fine, even though she miserably failed the last NST.
Mom to M (6), K (4), and little rose (18 months)
I had a few NST's at the end of my high-risk pregnancy because I was contracting (but not dilating, ugggggghhhhh). It's just as Dee Darling 3 describes, you lay on your side and the put on an external monitor to see how baby is doing. If the baby is being super quiet and they can't detect movement, they might use a sound thing to get the baby to wake up--Maggie was napping at one of my NSTs and the sound thingy totally freaked her out and woke her right up! It's a hassle to have to go in twice a week, that's for sure, but at least an NST isn't invasive or anything.