RUTH JENKINSON / MIDIRS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUTH JENKINSON / MIDIRS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Woman in labour. View of a woman in early labour holding a face mask through which she can administer Entonox. This is a painkilling mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. She is being comforted by her partner. Labour involves painful, rhythmic contractions of the muscular wall of the uterus. These get stronger and more frequent as the labour progresses. First the contractions dilate the cervix, the neck of the uterus, before they push the baby out of the body. This kneeling position may be adopted during early labour to ease pain and discomfort.
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