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an obstetric technique in which the abdomen is enclosed in a chamber that permits surrounding pressure to be controlled during the first stage of labor. The technique is intended to reduce pain and shorten labor. It is no longer used.
A technique formerly used in obstetrics to facilitate childbirth. The abdominal area is surrounded by an airtight chamber in which pressure may be intermittently decreased below atmospheric pressure. During labor pains, the pressure is decreased and the uterus is permitted to work more efficiently because the abdominal muscles are elevated away from the uterus.
See also: decompression