ALEX BARTEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALEX BARTEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure in labour. Pregnant woman in labour in hospital having her blood pressure measured. The instrument used is a sphygmomanometer. A cuff is inflated around the upper arm until it is tight enough to stop the flow of blood in the main artery. The cuff pressure at this point corresponds to the pressure during a heartbeat. The cuff is then deflated until blood flow resumes. This point corresponds to the blood pressure between heartbeats. Blood pressure rises during pregnancy but usually reduces again after the birth. The woman is also having her contractions monitored by the machine on the left.
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