· Direct obstetric deaths (75%) are those resulting from complication of pregnancy, delivery or their management. Such conditions are abortion, ectopic gestation, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, antepartum and postpartum hemorrhage and puerperal sepsis.
· Indirect obstetric deaths (25%) include conditions present before or developed during pregnancy but aggravated by the physiological effects of pregnancy and strain of labor. These are anemia, cardiac disease, diabetes, thyroid disease etc. of which anemia is the most important single cause in the developing countries. Viral hepatitis when endemic, contributes significantly to maternal deaths.
· Non-obstetric death: Accidents, typhoid and other infectious diseases.