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Foetal monitor, United States of America, 1985-1995

Science Museum, London


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Credit: Foetal monitor, United States of America, 1985-1995. Credit: Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

About this work


A foetal monitor is used to listen to a baby’s heartbeat, both while it is still in the mother’s womb and during birth. This series 50IP foetal monitor was made by Hewlett Packard Company during the 1990s. It produced a paper printout of cardiac activity, thereby allowing physicians to monitor foetal health. The foetus and, during labour, the activity of the uterus are continuously monitored. These monitoring techniques have been introduced into hospital obstetric practice since about the 1960s. Machines such as this have enabled hospitals to actively manage pregnancy and labour. They have also been portrayed as symbolic of what some critics see as the excessive medicalisation of childbirth. maker: Hewlett Packard Company Place made: United States


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