Maternity services are many thousands of midwives short of the number needed to deliver safe, high quality care.
The birthrate remains exceptionally high and as this and the National Audit Office report states, births are also becoming increasingly complex.
This puts even more demands on midwives and maternity services.
We are seeing areas such as antenatal and postnatal care in particular suffering because trusts often do not have enough midwives to provide consistent and high quality care before and after pregnancy.
The Public Accounts Committee found there was a national shortage of 2,300 midwives and said many maternity units were "running at a loss".
PAC said it was hard to find anyone accountable for "ensuring something as fundamental" as whether the NHS has enough midwives, in a scathing report in maternity care.
The committee reported rates of infection among new mothers and the baby as well as injury to the newborn "are all higher at the weekend".
It added: "Although there have been substantial improvements in levels of consultant presence on labour wards in recent years, over half of obstetric units were still not meeting the levels recommended by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists at September 2012."
New mothers often feel "bullied" into breastfeeding, a survey into maternity care found.
The survey by the Care Quality Commission said 41% of women felt "inadequately supported" when feeding their new baby and that the pressure to breastfeed made them feel isolated and guilty.
One new mother said the feeding issue was "the most upsetting part" of her care.
"Midwives and health visitors make you feel bullied into breastfeeding… I was desperate to breastfeed during my pregnancy, and I was devastated when I couldn't, but the comments and the way you are made to feel guilty is totally unacceptable,” the woman said.
Women with children often feel "shoved aside" in the workplace, said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as he called for dramatic changes to business practices, to better accommodate family life.
"It is sadly still far too common for women to feel shoved aside at work because they've decided to have children," the Liberal Democrat leader said. "Aside from the obvious unfairness, it's also bad for our economy, which means everybody ends up losing out."
Next year will see the introduction of shared parental leave to "ensure career options remain open to women after pregnancy," he added.
Mr Clegg's comments came as a Mumsnet survey showed 75% of women who returned to work after having a child thought it made it harder to progress in their career.