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