Two thirds of people in England believe NHS maternity services should be excluded from cuts in Government spending, according to the Royal College of Midwives
A poll by the organisation also claimed that 59% thought the financial crisis would inevitably lead to less money for the area.
Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the RCM, said: “There is no doubt that we need more midwives, and we recognise that the Government are making progress on this and are putting money into the service. However, this progress has to continue into the future.
“If it does not I fear that we may see maternity services and standards of care falling, and the progress and great strides that are being made will be lost.”
The RCM predicts an extra 5,000 midwives will be needed in England to deliver Government targets, including giving one-to-one support to mothers and choice over place of birth.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “It is not just about midwife numbers and we are focusing increasingly on the whole maternity team, which includes midwives, maternity support workers and doctors to offer women the choice of birth they want.”