More Midwives

2012 AGM Resolution

There are chronic shortages of midwives. The NFWI calls on the government to increase investment in training, employment and retention of midwives in England and Wales to ensure services are adequately resources and are able to deliver a high standard of care. Horwich WI, Lancashire Federation.


  • Citing NFWI research, NHS England publishes its National Maternity Review, recommending wide-spreading changes to maternity care.
  • The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence issues first ever safe-staffing guidance for midwifery services.


The NFWI launched a campaign for More Midwives after a resolution on the employment of more midwives was passed at the 2012 AM with a 96% majority.There is a shortage of midwives in the UK, resulting in fragmented, rushed care and extra demands on maternity services. Midwives are facing increasing pressure with chronic staff shortages, the ongoing baby boom and increasing numbers of complications in pregnancy. Combined, these challenges are making it harder to deliver a high standard of care to women and their children and mean that despite increases in the number of NHS midwives, maternity units are still short staffed.

About our campaign and our research

In partnership with parenting charity NCT, we launched a survey for women to tell us about their maternity experiences. Over 5,500 women shared their stories. We asked 141 trusts in England and Boards in Wales to tell us about how they provide maternity care for women in their local areas. From this,we put together a report about the state of maternity care and what we think needs to change. Support Overdue: Women's Experiences of Maternity Services was published in May 2013.

  Support Overdue 
Marylyn and Minister of Health   

We collected almost 30,000 signatures calling for urgent action to adequately resource maternity services and improve the quality of care, and handed them to Minister of Health Dr Dan Poulter in October 2013.

Read about the campaign so far, its successes and the work still to do in our latest leaflet published in June 2014

Take Action now

Click here to see what you can do to help the campaign, competition winners and useful resources.


To celebrate the International Day of the Midwife (5 May 2015) and our Centenary year, we surveyed the maternity experiences of WI members who had given birth at any time prior to 2007. Looking Back seeks to give voice to the myriad maternity experiences of WI members across time and region, highlighting how much quality care standards have changed and the long way we still have to go to make sure women are empowered at every stage of their pregnancy and midwives are adequately supported. We asked WI members a wide range of questions about their care, asking them to dig deep to remember the support they received, whether positive or negative. Members did not disappoint. Read the full report below by clicking here or click here to watch a short video which provides a summary of the results.

More Midwives