Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Introduction to Abnormalities and Complications of Labor and Delivery


Julie S. Moldenhauer

, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Last full review/revision Jul 2021| Content last modified Jul 2021
Click here for Patient Education

Abnormalities and complications of labor and delivery should be diagnosed and managed as early as possible.

Most of the following complications are evident before onset of labor:

Some of the following complications develop or become evident during labor or delivery:

Some complications may require alternatives to spontaneous labor and vaginal delivery. Alternatives include

The neonatal care team should be informed when alternative delivery methods are to be used so they can be ready to treat any neonatal complications.

Some complications (eg, postpartum hemorrhage, inverted uterus) occur immediately after delivery of the fetus and around the time the placenta is delivered.

Some placental abnormalities, such as placenta accreta, may be discovered during pregnancy or only after delivery.

Click here for Patient Education
NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version
Professionals also read

Test your knowledge

Thyroid Disorders in Pregnancy
Thyroid disorders can exist prior to pregnancy or can develop during pregnancy. Untreated or poorly treated maternal thyroid disorders can affect the fetus in various ways. If hypothyroidism is left untreated during pregnancy, which of the following adverse effects is most likely? 
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest