The aim of this population-based study was to estimate the risk of postpartum maternal complications associated with mode of delivery in a population of low-risk pregnancies. Data from 324,883 full-term singleton births between 2001 and 2007 were retrieved from birth and hospital discharge databases of the Lazio Region, Central Italy. Women with breech presentation births and those with chronic/pregnancy-related diseases in the mother/fetus were excluded. The association between mode of delivery and maternal outcome was estimated for women by odds ratios (ORs), adjusted for potential confounders. Of nulliparous women 78.6% intended vaginal delivery, while for multiparous this was 68.6%. Elective cesarean section was associated with a higher risk of hysterectomy, obstetric shock and anesthetic complications compared with women in the intended vaginal delivery group. This suggests there is a need for a program to reduce unnecessary elective cesarean sections.