ART & SCIENCE, INC. / CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ART & SCIENCE, INC. / CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Foetal monitoring. Artwork of a pregnant woman showing monitoring of the full term foetal heart rate. A healthy full term foetus has a heart rate of between 120 and 160 beats per minute. At this stage a normal foetus weighs about 3.4kg. The internal organs are fully mature and it is perfectly formed. The head is in the normal position facing the cervical canal. At labour the cervical canal widens up to 10cm in diameter to allow the baby to pass into the vaginal canal. Until the baby is born the placenta acts, via the umbilical cord, as an organ of respiration, nutrition and excretion for the foetus.
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