Placard-waving Northamptonshire midwives braved the cold and turned out in force to highlight a growing crisis in maternity services.
Organisers of the March with Midwives in Northampton town centre on Sunday (November 21) say many are being driven out of the NHS by understaffing and fears they can’t deliver safe care to women in the current system.
Sunday's vigil was one of 75 nationwide involving more than 20,000 supporters calling for an improvement on conditions and emergency funding to help keep staff.
An online petition backing midwives' calls for changes has so far been signed by more than 100,000 people.
A spokesperson for the Northamptonshire group said: "Midwives are on their knees and it's leading to a huge exodus.
"We cannot carry on like this and the government needs to listen.
"We're 3,500 midwives short of what we need and that number is growing, rapidly.
"It is a genuine national emergency which impacts every level of society. "