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Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR), World Health Organization

Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth

A guide for midwives and doctors 

  Managing complications in pregnancy and childbirth: a guide for midwives and doctors

Managing complications in pregnancy and childbirth: a guide for midwives and doctors - Second Edition

Publish Date: June 2017
Author: World Health Organization, UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund

Since the first edition was published in 2000, the Managing complications in pregnancy and childbirth (MCPC) manual has been used widely around the world to guide the care of women and newborns who have complications during pregnancy, childbirth and the immediate postnatal period. The MCPC manual targets midwives and doctors working in district-level hospitals. Selected chapters from the first edition of the MCPCwere revised in 2016 based on new World Health Organization recommendations, resulting in this second edition.

To read a related summary brief, click here.
Download File

First Edition -

How to use this manual on the web

The manual is arranged by symptoms (ex. vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy).  Because this symptom-based approach is different than most medical texts which are arranged by disease, a corresponding diagnosis table is provided. Links have been used extensively to facilitate navigation between symptoms and diagnosis. This differs from the printed version of this text where page numbers are used.

More information

Full text PDF (10,337 KB)

The emphasis of the manual is on rapid assessment and decision making

The clinical action steps are based on clinical assessment with limited reliance on laboratory or other tests and most are possible in a variety of clinical settings (e.g. district hospital or health centre).

The interventions described in these manuals are based on the latest available scientific evidence.

Given that evidence-based medicine is the standard on which to base clinical practice, it is planned to update the manual as new information is acquired.

It is hoped that this manual will be used at the side of the patient, and be readily available whenever a midwife or doctor is confronted with an obstetric emergency.



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