Mothers-to-be require more personal levels of care, it has been suggested.
Sarah Montagu, administration secretary at the Association of Radical Midwives, suggested that there should be one midwife assigned to one woman, instead of "people who are rushing in and out of rooms looking after three women at once".
The comments come as a recent report was published in the British Medical Journal which suggested that babies born outside of normal working hours has a slightly increased risk of neonatal death when compared to those born during the working week.
Ms Montagu suggested reorganising staffing systems to assign to particular women before labour started in order to tackle the problem.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics found that the number of live births in the UK decreased between 2008 and 2009, following several years of increases.
In 2008 there were 794,400 live births; this had fallen to 790,200 in 2009.
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