Britain’s birthrate is on the increase, fuelling a need for more midwives.
There was a 2.4% increase in live births just in the last year, data from the Office for National Statistics shows, bringing the total to the highest figure in almost four decades.
In England and Wales in 2010, there were 723,165 births, which compares to the 706,248 figure for the previous year.
Last year’s figure is the highest since 1972, when the number of live births totalled 725,440.
Figures also show that women are now having more children than they were in 2009, with the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) increasing to 2.00 children per woman in 2010 from 1.96 the previous year.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) claims the birth rate figures are evidence that about 4,700 more midwives need to be recruited to cope with the increase.
RCM general secretary Cathy Warwick added: “The government has committed to protecting student midwife training places, but this is only for one year and does little good if there are not jobs for those midwives to go to.”