9.5.2  Other common complications of obstructed labour

To summarise briefly, unless it is well managed, obstructed labour can also lead to the following complications in the mother:

  • Postpartum haemorrhage (you will learn about this in Study Session 11 in this Module)
  • Slow return of the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size
  • Shock (low blood pressure and fast pulse rate)
  • The small intestine becomes paralyzed and stops movement (paralytic ileus)
  • Sepsis (widespread infection throughout the body)
  • Death.

Complications of obstructed labour for the newborn can include:

You will learn in detail about complications affecting the newborn in the Modules on Postnatal Care and Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness

  • Neonatal sepsis
  • Convulsions (fits)
  • Facial injury
  • Severe asphyxia (life-threatening lack of oxygen)
  • Death.

9.6  Prevention of obstructed labour