The findings showed that maternity units are having to temporarily close due to a shortage of staff, which could compromise the safety of pregnant women and babies.
In response to the findings, Director of Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, Louise Silverton said: “Birth is of course unpredictable, and sometimes units get a rush of births that is unavoidable and cannot be planned for.
“We respect and support decisions made to close maternity units when failing to do this will compromise the safety of the service and the women and babies already being cared for.
“However, if units are regularly and persistently having to close their doors it suggests there is a serious, underlying problem around capacity and staffing levels that need urgent attention. We are very concerned about these figures from the Labour Party, especially as they show an increase in closures.
“Closures should be a red flag for the Government and providers of maternity services. We would expect each closure to be on grounds of safety and the causes leading to it identified and addressed.
According to the Royal College of Midwives, NHS England needs 2,600 more full-time midwives to cope with the rising birth rate and to provide high quality and safe care to pregnant women.
In November 2015, the BBC reported that there were 16 maternity unit closures in North Wales during the last 12 months to November.
Keep up to date with the latest news from MIDIRS by signing up to our e-newsletter. Sign-up