RUTH JENKINSON / MIDIRS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUTH JENKINSON / MIDIRS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Foetal monitoring during labour. Midwife uses a cardiotocography (CTG) machine to monitor the heartbeat of a woman's foetus during early labour. The heartbeat is picked up by an ultrasound scanner strapped to the woman's abdomen and printed by the CTG machine at upper centre. The machine also records uterine contractions. The foetus' heartbeats are closely monitored during childbirth in order to detect problems such as foetal distress, which occurs when the baby's oxygen supply is impaired. In this, the first stage of labour, the neck of the uterus (cervix) dilates to allow the baby out of the body.
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