The number of midwives has fallen in every English region in the past year, figures show.
Numbers dropped by around 600 on top of a longstanding shortage of more than 2000 midwives, according to analysis of NHS Digital data by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
The RCM said more investment is needed in maternity services to ensure the safety and quality of care, as "even the smallest falls are putting increasing pressures on services already struggling with shortages, worsened by the pandemic".
Dr Suzanne Tyler of the RCM said midwife numbers had "fallen significantly over the past year on top of already serious shortages" in England.
Dr Tyler said: "The falls across the regions are compounding the difficulties employers are facing to recruit and keep their midwives.
"We are raising these issues because we want women to get the best possible care and midwives to not only stay in the profession, but to encourage others to become one.
"These figures must shock this moribund Government into action for the sake of women, babies, their families and staff."
Source: Medscape, 16 August 2022