DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Woman in labour. Woman in early labour resting on a hospital bed. On her abdomen are the ultrasound sensors of a cardiotocography (CTG) machine (not seen) which is monitoring her foetus' heartbeat. 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 first stage of labour, the neck of the uterus (cervix) dilates to allow the baby out of the body.
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