birthThe chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives has said the recent report by the National Federation of Women’s Institute and NCT "paints a disappointing and worrying picture of our maternity services".

“We are 5000 midwives short in England," said Cathy Warwick. "Without enough midwives to cope with the increasing demands on maternity services I fear that we will not see the situation depicted in this report improving. The Government recognises the need for more midwives and numbers are increasing, but there is still a long way to go.

Midwives simply not available
“Women have been promised choice around their maternity care and this report clearly shows that that choice is being denied or is simply not available to far too many," she continued.

“Postnatal care has been an area of concern for some time. This is a vitally important period for women who need support, guidance and advice when they return home after giving birth. Too often resources are taken away from this key area leading to fewer visits by midwives and less contact with them for women.

“This report should be compulsory reading for those who will be organising maternity services in the new NHS structure and I urge them to take note and act upon its findings.”

The Royal College of Midwives has been working closely with the NFWI since the passing of a resolution at their 2012 AGM, calling for the ‘employment of more midwives’.