ALEX BARTEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALEX BARTEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Labour. A woman in labour in hospital uses an oxygen mask. This relieves hypoxia, (inadequate oxygen in the body tissues) which may occur during the powerful uterine contractions. Her contractions and foetal heart rate are being monitored by the machines on either side, via the sensors strapped to her abdomen. Contractions become more painful and regular, and occur at shorter intervals, as labour progresses.
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