ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Woman in labour. Midwife uses a tape measure to assess a woman in the early stages of labour (childbirth). Visible on the woman's abdomen are purple stretch marks which are caused by the stretching the skin has undergone during pregnancy. During this early stage of labour, powerful uterine contractions dilate the neck of the uterus (cervix) to allow the baby out of the body.
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