Data obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act showed 62 trusts out of 121 respondents - or 51% - temporarily closed units in 2013.
Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser, NCT, says:
“This failure of maternity services can mean women get passed from pillar to post when having a baby. This is hugely disruptive to labour, which progresses best in a familiar chosen setting with known and trusted supporters.
“Over-stretched units and staff shortages mean more women and families are experiencing less than high quality care, in spite of midwives’ best efforts. It’s important that women have reliable access to a midwife they know and trust to help ensure positive outcomes: continuity of care is essential, and is a more cost-effective model of practice.”