In pregnancy, a test in which contractions are induced in the mother’s uterus, and the heart rate of the fetus is monitored electronically to measure the fetal response to the contractions. Monitoring the baby’s heartbeat assesses the baby’s health and can help the doctor decide whether to let the pregnancy go on or to induce labor. Two methods can be used to conduct the contraction stress test. In the first, the woman’s nipples are stimulated, causing her brain to secrete oxytocin, a hormone that induces uterine contractions. The second method is the oxytocin challenge test (OCT), in which a small amount of synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) is introduced intravenously to stimulate contractions.