The Royal College of Midwives has warned that some areas of England have such a shortage of midwives that mums and babies are at risk.
The RCM blames the 22.
And whilst the Department of Health says that record number of midwives are currently being trained, the RCM wants a massive 4,700 more, and accuses the Prime Minister David Cameron of going back on a pledge to increase numbers.
The College also says deliveries are becoming more and more complex because of the amount of obese and older mothers needing extra support.
The RCM's findings were based on the number of midwives in an area against the number of babies born there. It estimates that one midwife is needed for every 28 hospital births, or 35 births in a midwife led unit or for a home delivery.
Cathy Warwick the General Secretary of the RCM said the shortfalls were a 'real problem': "We believe women should have the same choice over giving birth wherever they live. Once you get to really critical shortfalls, maternity services won't be safe."
What do you think? Have you suffered because of staff shortages at your local maternity unit?
Or were you so concerned about staffing levels you used a private hospital or independent midwife for your delivery?
More:Advice And Health
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