Of course, we're told to call a number if we need support or advice. But many women won't. And especially not in the wee small hours of the night. Many will struggle in silence or sink into denial - snapping at a concerned partner or parent that "they're fine".
Our number-crunching, for the year 2011, suggests that England is short of as many as 5,000 midwives. Progress on midwife numbers since the turn of the century reminds me of the tortoise and the hare. I just hope that, as in the case of that fable, the tortoise ends up winning.
A senior midwife has told an inquest there were "missed opportunities" to save an expectant mother who bled to death when
We are in an age of austerity, of course. But the government often boasts that the NHS budget has been protected, and surely if there is any group that should be shielded from the brunt of any cuts it is newborn babies.