Midwives are pleading for more Government funding as Wellington's workforce plummets by nearly a third.
The Capital and Coast District Health Board confirmed that approximately 17 of 61 full-time midwife positions are vacant.
The chief executive of New Zealand's College of Midwives says it's a similar story across the country.
"We're not retaining midwives in the workforce," Alison Eddy told The Project on Wednesday.
"So what we're finding is because it's stressful and busy, it's hard to maintain staff right across the country - there's not enough midwives on the ground."
She says there's not enough support for young women training either.
It's an opinion backed up by Jill Ovens, from the Midwives Union.
"We think there should be more financial support for midwives in training, that's a start," she told The Project.
She says the midwives who are working are so burnt out they get upset and leave shifts crying because they can't provide the level of care they know they're capable of.
"These are professional well-trained women who want to provide the best standard of care - they can't do that if they're so short-staffed."
Watch the full interview above.