The Royal College of Midwives has said that the acute
shortage of midwives in the UK is hurting pregnant women who are unable to
receive advice to stop smoking and receive support during breastfeeding.
Two separate surveys by the Royal College of Midwives
(RCM) show that in England mothers are not receiving adequate support to stop
smoking during pregnancy and also on how to breastfeed correctly. Research has
indicated that breastfed babies are intelligent and have better IQ than babies
fed on formula milk.
The surveys also showed that advice of alcohol intake and
obesity was also lacking.
"It is short-sighted and sheer folly that because of
midwife shortages we are not using these opportunities to have a major impact
on the health of the nation, and one that will reap benefits for decades,"
said Dame Karlene Davis, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives.
"Midwives are in a key position to influence the health of women at a
point in their life when they are most receptive to advice about their
The survey also found
that while three in 10 women wanted some help on weight control during
pregnancy just one in 10 received it.